Meet Village Tract Administrator: Daw Khin AyeJun 30, 2017
Mother of 3 children, Daw Khin Aye an enthusiastic community volunteer, became the very first female VTA of Gadatkyi Village Tract, Laung Lone Township in Tanintharyi Region. Gadatkyi Village Tract has a population of over 600.
Like her 84-year-old father who is still working as a treasurer for the Village Development committee, Daw Khin Aye enjoys engaging in several community development activities since she was young. The villagers who wanted to see the development of their village urged Daw Khin Aye run for the VTA position because they believed that she was the only person who could really work for the development of Gadatkyi Village Tract. Daw Khin Aye had to compete against 3 male candidates during the election, and she won with over 400 votes out of 600.
Challenges and Solutions
Daw Khin Aye was told that men had to sacrifice their properties for a VTA position. But instead of putting her off pursuing the VTA position, that actually made her more enthusiastic to contest. When she became the VTA, it was not easy for Daw Khin Aye to convince all Ten Household Leaders who were colleagues of the former VTA to cooperate with her. Finally, she could figure out ways to gain their trust and cooperate with her. Daw Khin Aye established a social community service group in her Village Tract. After this many villagers began to trust and respect her.
Daw Khin Aye recalls one of the most difficult hurdles she faced. It is related to a fresh water supply project in Gadatkyi Village Tract which has been in place since April. Some people did not want to pay for the cost of installments to get fresh water. However, Daw Khin Aye succeeded in making them understand the importance of fresh water by investing in the project first, and catalyzing people to follow. Finally everyone contributed.
Daw Khin Aye’s Attitude and Future Plans
“I don’t think being a man or woman matters. What matters most is their performance.”
Daw Khin Aye is very eager to share her knowledge which she gained from the training.
“I will help all Female Ten Household Leaders and teach them so that they could play more responsible roles in the future. I want them to participate in community development activities and play essential roles. I would encourage them that they could become a VTA one day if they try!”
***Daw Khin Aye 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.