Meet Ward Administrator: Daw Mon Mon KhineJun 16, 2017
Daw Mon Mon Khine, 36, has been leading various community development activities since 2005. She became the very first female VTA of Ya Hine Phyar Village Tract, Gwa Township in Rakhine State. Ya Hine Phyar Village Tract has a population of 530.
Being an active volunteer in leading community development activities and helping women to get jobs, has earned Daw Mon Mon Khine a reputation of being an achiever. The village elders wanted Daw Mon Mon Khine become their VTA. She competed against 18 male Ten Household Leaders in the election, including the former VTA and won.
“I did not campaign by myself, unlike the former VTA. The village elders did it for me because they wanted to see a younger and more active VTA.”
Challenges and Solutions
Daw Mon Mon Khine faced some challenges as a VTA. But she usually solves the problems by asking advice and opinions from village elders and the former VTA since she believes that they are good and experienced in administration.
In her first month as a VTA, she had to solve some difficult cases, including those around debt and disputes amongst couples. She worked together on these with all Ten Household Leaders.
“I first warned the people who were fighting. If it didn’t work, I just sent them to police. Now I see such cases of fighting have decreased because the community noticed that I really did take action. I must admit, I’m getting very busy these days as people come to me to solve even minor disagreements.”
Daw Mon Mon Khine’s Future Plans
Daw Mon Mon Khine is very eager to develop her village and especially share her knowledge with girls and women. She enjoyed the training for women VTAs offered by UNDP in May and was surprised to find that there were 85 women VTAs.
“When I return, I will call the women in my village and share my knowledge and experience that I gained from this training.”
***Daw Mon Mon Khine attended the National Training Workshop for Female Ward and Tract Administrators in Nay Pyi Taw held by UNDP. The workshop took place from May 15th to 21st.
***Village Tract/Ward Administration is the lowest tier of administration, as per the Myanmar Government administrative structure. There are approximately 17,000 village tracts and wards in the country as a whole, and the role of Ward and Village Tract Administrators (W/VTAs) is crucial in interfacing between the government and the Myanmar population, 70 % of which is made up of rural dwellers.
The Village Tract and Ward Administration Law (2012) mandates WVTA’s responsibilities. These include maintaining peace and security, performing as a birth and death registrar, coordinating local development and facilitating information exchange between the government and community members.
Village Tract/Ward Administrators are elected in a secret ballot by 10 household leaders, who themselves are elected by members of corresponding household groups. They serve for 5 years and their terms are in line with those of the Pyithu Huttlaw (Lower House). A VT/WA can serve for a maximum of 2 terms.
In the 2012 Ward and Village Tract administrator election, only 41 out of 16785 seats (0.24 percent of total seats) were won by women. In the 2016 Ward and Village Tract Administrator election, the number of female representation in ward and village tract administration doubled to 88 with women taking 0.5 % of the seats. About 31 % of female WVTAs were re-elected to their second term.