To discuss an initiative resulting from a previously signed MOU, the Head of the Gender Election Observation Mission (GEOM), Ms. Sabra Bano, met with U Tin Aye, Chairman of the Union Election Commission of Myanmar (UEC) at its headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw, a statement from the mission said on 7 November.
The meeting, attended by UEC commissioners and GEOM members, was the only UEC meeting with an international observation team that focused solely on the role of gender in the election of 8 November.
Ms. Bano was assured that the UEC was both mindful of the challenges faced by the women of Myanmar and at the same time optimistic about an increase in women’s political participation and seats in parliament. The UEC Chairman stated that he believes the elections on Sunday will greatly contribute to paving the way to gender equality and also influence participation of Myanmar’s youth in the political sphere.
After stating that his hope is to witness more women’s participation in elections, the Chairman acknowledged that the transition to gender equality in political processes may not be immediate in light of the traditions of Myanmar’s people. However, he cautioned for the citizens of Myanmar and the international community to be patient for the time of full women’s political participation. Additionally, the Chairman expressed gratitude for the participation of the GEOM in Sunday’s elections and said that he looks forward to recommendations from the GEOM reports.
The GEOM will observe elections from a gender perspective in a number of regions, in collaboration with various civil society organisations. The GEOM will issue its preliminary report on Tuesday, 10 November, at 12:30 p.m. at a press conference at the Sedona Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar.