GENDER AWARENESS OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS IN MYANMAR
Gender roles impact the development of a country. A clear perception of citizens on their roles to gender equality enables their full participation and contribution to development. The perceived gender roles of the civil society organizations in the different ethnic states of Myanmar were described qualitatively using the discourse and content analysis. Subject and setting were determined through the Center for Development and Ethnic Studies and seminar-training workshops on gender conscientization have been intensified in the ethnic states. Common tropes among the perceptions revealed by the subjects of diverse ethnicities were along socio-politics, economy, education, culture, and religion as anchored on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. Based on the perception of gender roles of the civil society organizations among ethnicities in Myanmar, their culture and religion impact most their socio-political, educational, and economical roles. Men perceived their roles to be superior over women in decision making in socio- political and religious affairs from family to the spheres of the community and society such as the peace and reconciliation process, men are preferred to be educated from boyhood to adulthood and hold major economic roles such that they dominate in the fields of national defense, engineering and business. Women also perceive that they are only tapped for domestic roles not only in their homes but also in the peace process and must maintain their posts as followers of men in the decision making. As a whole, the civil society organizations of Myanmar have stereotypical perceptions on gender roles as greatly dictated by their culture and religion but these gender stereotypes are now being gradually mainstreamed through educational, socio-political, and economic interventions.
Gender Equality, Gender Roles, Civil Society Organizations, Ethnicities, Myanmar