The Authority of Influence: Women and Power in Burmese History


Jessica Harriden

This book explores the relationship between gender and power in Burmese history from pre-colonial times to the present day and aims to identify the sources, nature and limitations of women’s power. The study takes as its starting point the apparent contradiction that, though Burmese women historically enjoyed relatively high social status and economic influence, for the most part they remained conspicuously absent from positions of authority in formal religious, social and political institutions. The book thus examines the concept of ‘family’ in Burmese political culture, and reveals how some women were able to gain political influence through their familial connections with powerful men, even while cultural models of ‘correct’ female behaviour prevented most women from attaining official positions of political authority.

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The Authority of Influence: Women and Power in Burmese History

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