The Day Myanmar Elected Its First Female Senator
By Wei Yan Aung 16 November 2019
Yangon – On this day 87 years ago, Daw Hnin Mya was elected to Parliament, becoming the first female senator in Myanmar.
Together with her elder brother, U Chit Hlaing, a prominent political figure and lawyer, Daw Hnin Mya devoted herself to the anti-colonialist movement starting in the 1920s.
After women were granted the right to stand for Parliament in 1929, she was elected in the 1932 election, representing Mawlamyine. As a parliamentarian, she submitted proposals to end the imposition of the property tax, to allow women aged over 18 to vote, and for women in Myanmar to be able to inherit the estates of foreign husbands.
Despite being born into a wealthy family, Daw Hnin Mya devoted herself to public service and was a supporter of the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League led by independence hero General Aung San. She also worked to end the civil wars that followed independence. Daw Hnin Mya died aged 87 in 1974.