Referendums are all the rage in Europe. In June, British voters will decide whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union. The Hungarian government has called for a referendum on accepting its quota of refugees set by the EU. “All the terrorists are basically migrants,” Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, said. The referendum is likely to go his way.
“Women’s rights are human rights” is the prominent slogan that evolved out of the fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995.
As a boy growing up in post-war South Korea, I remember asking about a tradition I observed: Women going into labour would leave their shoes at the threshold and then look back in fear. “They are wondering if they will ever step into those shoes again,” my mother explained. More than a half-century later, the memory continues to haunt me.
A permanent scar on her forehead, a broken tooth, a miscarriage – all caused by spousal battery. Daw Tin Tin Hla (not her real name) decides to speak to her spiritual adviser about a longstanding situation of domestic violence. “Though very patient and kind, my adviser urged me to make my marriage work and not to break the family. But my family was broken long ago. My children and I live in fear of violence,” she said.
Myanmar has been undergoing a rapid and exciting transformation – politically, economically and socially. At this juncture, it is more important than ever to recognise and support the crucial role of women in economic growth, particularly in the agricultural sector.
The rush of foreign visitors wanting to see Myanmar “before it changes” exhibits a curiously misplaced mix of nostalgia and voyeurism. What some people think they want to experience is a place before the wave of 21st-century hyper-modernity has crashed over it.
In the last parliament, MPs suspended consideration of the Right of Recall Bill because of uneasiness over the prospect that a sitting MP could be removed in a process launched by a scant 1 percent of his or her constituents.