© 2020

Women, Children and Social Transformation in Myanmar


About this book


This book explores the need for deep-seated social change in Myanmar if the country’s democratic transition and peace process is to deliver tangible benefits for those that have long faced profound vulnerability and marginalisation. Drawing on detailed case studies, it showcases a range of initiatives taking place in Myanmar aimed at strengthening women’s and children’s rights, improving education provision, and promoting respect for ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity, as well as the challenges these initiatives face, and the foundations still needed for a more equal and socially cohesive society. The timely and insightful analysis presented in this book is a key read for those interested in understanding the challenges facing Myanmar and other highly diverse, and divided, countries. 


Women and Children in Burma/Myanmar Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Diversity in Myanmar Rights Protection and Equality Democratic and Social Change in Myanmar Identity Politics in Divided Countries Multilingual Education and Civil Society Social Transformation in South East Asia

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Aichi Gakuin UniversityNisshinJapan

About the authors

Makiko Takeda is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Policy Studies, Aichi Gakuin University, Japan. Her recent publications include papers on promotion of women’s rights, children’s rights, civil society initiatives and community development. Makiko is one of the founding members in establishing Asian University Network Forum on Advances in Research (AUNFAIR), Thailand-India-Japan Conclave (TIJC) and Euro-Aunfair Roundtable (EAR).

Bibliographic information


“Author’s focus is on the experiences and capacities of women and children from marginalized ethnic nationality communities in Myanmar. Drawing on research case study of Ethnic Women’s Organisations (EWOs), the book will provide insights into the real needs and situation in hard-to-access and conflict-prone areas. It will be an essential resource for those who are seeking to know more about those communities where there is an on-going struggle for self-determination against a still militarised state.” (Mi Kun Chan Non, Chair, Mon Women’s Organisation (MWO), Myanmar)

“Having been too long under successive authoritarian military, and military dominated regimes, Myanmar’s transition to democracy and open society that is happening today should indeed be accelerated. But the retarding forces are strong and are coming from various sources and directions. The problems are many; ‘pyat thana thaung chauk taung’, meaning  sixteen thousand problems, is an appropriate Myanmar usage for it. And they are complex, convoluted as well as knotted; again there is the relevant Myanmar idiom ‘amei boke chi-khin’, literally translated as ‘Madam Boke’s skein’. This book provides vitally needed proper and thorough understanding of the problems.” (Phoehlaing (alias) Tin Hlaing, Writer; Member, Myanmar Media and Press Council, Myanmar)

“Makiko attempts to introduce the readers with her investigation of the important issues of children and women in the ethnically and culturally diverse nation of Burma/Myanmar. Her introduction covers contributory roles by civil society in general and ethnic women’s organisations in particular for the case regions on rights-protection, equality-promotion, identity-relation and multilingual education as initiatives. It is my sincere wish that if we all get the book’s main essence and accept absolute reality of Burma’s multiple diversities as the nation’s very original setting, there will be no more exploitable divisions created along the lines of ethnicity, religion and languages, etc. Instead, ‘diversity’ will be a highly valued asset of the nation’s future. This book is therefore recommendable for a wider readership who are interested in understanding the need and potential of Burma’s ethnic populations—children and women.” (Nan Paw Gay, Editor-in-Chief, Karen Information Centre (KIC))