Myanmar has shown signs of improving women’s economic empowerment; achieving parity in boys’ and girls’ primary school enrolments, more than 18% of women enrolled in tertiary education, more than one quarter of businesses owned by women, and women comprising more than 50% of government administration roles. The 2015 election increased women in Parliament from 5.9% to 14.5%. Myanmar has maternity leave law and has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Despite some positive indicators, significant cultural and political barriers continue to restrict opportunities available to women. Employers in Myanmar pay women on average 25 per cent less than men, with inequality rooted in cultural norms that see men’s work as more valuable than women’s.
In collaboration with corporations and business leaders, entrepreneurs and advocates in Myanmar, Investing in Women is building the business case and spearheading the campaign for women’s economic equality in South East Asia.
The Board Gender Diversity in ASEAN study advances the case that having women in business leadership positions is good for company performance,.
Discrimination against women in the workplace is a persistent structural and social issue that can start as early as the hiring process.