PROMISES NOT PROGRESS: Burma’s National Plan for Women Falls Short of Gender Equality and CEDAW

Executive Summary

In late 2013, the Government of Burma/Myanmar (“the Government”) issued a National Strategic Action Plan for the Advancement of Women 2013-2022 (NSPAW) based in part on its obligations under the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Heralded as a “historic and essential step towards substantive equality between women and men,” NSPAW was released amidst a flurry of other governmental plans, strategies, promises, and actions ostensibly aimed at transforming the country into a democracy. However, conspicuously missing from these reforms, including NSPAW, were deeper systemic overhauls of the many legal, political, cultural and socio-economic barriers to the full enjoyment of human rights in Burma which must underpin any true democracy.