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Home > Main Library > Law and Constitution > Other areas of law > Women and the law > Laws and decrees related to women (commentary)

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Laws and decrees related to women (commentary)

Individual Documents

Title: Gendered rumours and Muslim scapegoats in Myanmar
Date of publication: 12 July 2017
Description/subject: "In Myanmar, rumours abound about the assault and coercion of Buddhist women. What makes this trope of everyday storytelling—often factually inaccurate—so resistant to “debunking”? Based on more than four years of in-depth qualitative research, we argue that rumours are durable because they resonate with, and allocate blame for, the suffering and stagnation of the 1990s and 2000s. We see these dynamics at play in support for the four “Protection of Race and Religion” laws. Drafted with assistance of Buddhist organisation Ma Ba Tha, they were passed in the final months of the U Thein Sein government and remain a thorn in the side of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy government..."
Author/creator: Gerard McCarthy & Jacqueline Menager
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 December 2017

Title: Women’s Access to Justice in the Plural Legal System of Myanmar
Date of publication: 22 April 2016
Description/subject: "Justice Base, with support from UN Women, led a participatory action research project over eight months in 2014 to examine women’s access to justice in the plural legal system of Myanmar. Situated in the constellation of various justice studies being conducted in the country, this report places fundamental importance on documenting women’s experiences with and perceptions of the formal and informal legal systems. Researchers sought to identify the formal and informal processes, decision-makers, and institutions that play a role in resolving disputes involving women in Myanmar. In communities with little access to government legal institutions or where the formal system is not used or not functioning, the project emphasised recording customary legal processes and how they impacted women’s justice claims. The intent was not to determine which system was “better” or more favourable to women, but rather to illuminate the justice obstacles and enablers in each. This qualitative study was conducted in four geographic target areas that included urban and semi-rural areas of Chin State, Mon State, Kachin State and the city of Yangon. Local research teams used focus group discussions, key informant interviews and participatory mapping activities to collect information from over 400 community members, legal practitioners, local administrators and other key stakeholders. Consultations and data validation sessions were iteratively held with partner organisations to further ensure that women and peer groups could articulate their positions and preferred strategies for improving their access to justice. The project did not focus on specified thematic issues (for example, land rights or domestic violence), but rather provided a broad space for women and men from target communities to self-identify what they saw as women’s most pressing legal concerns. Research participants identified domestic violence, sexual assault and traditional inheritance practices as the most prevalent injustices women faced. Women also described these issues as the least likely to be submitted for adjudication by formal or informal legal mechanisms. The avoidance of justice systems in response to these events was explained in part by several women and men respondents who defined family matters – those between a husband and wife or parents and children – as situated outside the jurisdiction of law..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Justice Base, UN Women
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www2.unwomen.org/~/media/field%20office%20eseasia/docs/publications/2016/04/myanmar%20resear...
Date of entry/update: 05 July 2016

Title: Myanmar: UN rights experts express alarm at adoption of first of four ‘protection of race and religion’ bills
Date of publication: 27 May 2015
Description/subject: GENEVA (27 May 2015) – "A group of United Nations human rights experts today expressed alarm at the enactment of the Population Control Healthcare Bill in Myanmar, the first of four in a package of bills that seek to ‘protect race and religion’. The bills are highly discriminatory against ethnic and religious minorities as well as against women. “These bills risk deepening discrimination against minorities and setting back women’s rights in Myanmar,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee. “At a time when thousands of Rohingya are already fleeing the country by boat, this sends precisely the wrong signal to these communities.” On Saturday, State media reported that the President of Myanmar had signed the Population Control Healthcare Bill. While the stated objectives of the Bill are to improve living standards, alleviate poverty, ensure quality healthcare and develop maternal and child health, its provisions are extremely vague and lack any protection against discrimination, the independent experts noted. Under the newly adopted law, certain areas can be designated for special health care measures, including birth spacing. “Any coercive requirement for birth spacing with the aim to ‘organise’ family planning would constitute a disproportionate interference in the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and could amount to a violation of women’s human rights,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pûras, noting that the Bill allows township groups to ‘organise’ married couples to practice 36-month birth spacing between pregnancies. “Women should be able to choose freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2015

Title: WOMEN & THE LAW (Chapter from "Gathering Strength")
Date of publication: January 2002
Author/creator: Brenda Belak
Language: English
Source/publisher: Images Asia
Format/size: PDF (467K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003