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Myanmar women in the traditional society (1752-1885)
- Outwardly, Myanmar women have seemed to be the underprivileged in Myanmar history. However, the laws that prohibited women from doing something or from participating in something were very rare. There even was a female monarch like Shin Sawpu. There also were a class ofdomestic slaves. How there were women belonging to different strata of society is discussed inthis dissertation. The dissertation is arranged in four chapters. The socio-economic conditions of women between Bagan and Nyang Yan periods are discussed in Chapter I “Introduction”. This chapter also deals with the queens of the Bagan period known as Hpwasaw, who were tender-hearted and peace-loving, Queen Shinbome of Inwa and her contemporary Shin Sawpu, a female monarch and famous authoress like Yazadatukalya of the Taungoo period. In Chapter II, how the ordinary women could participate in everyday matters for maintaining themselves, how they could acquire education to some extent, how there were women who married before they reached the age of fifteen, how there were women who were mortgaged or sold by their parents because they were inneed of cash, how there were women bought by men as wives, and how women in Myanmar society enjoyed more rights than those in the neighboring countries are discussed. As to the lives of women in the palace, how the lives of palace ladies, which seemed to have been peaceful on the surface, were not all roses is discussed in Chapter III. Chapter IV’s Women and Politics is about the roles played by women in politics. The roles played byQueen Mothers and Chief Queens who had influence over the kings and those played by Queen Suhpayalat, Me Nu and Sinbyumashin whose actions had reverberations throughout the country are explained in this chapter.
Tin Moe Latt