We must safeguard our future male generation
- Where have all the men gone?
This is a frequent question heard in Myanmar. According to the 2014 Population and Housing Census, there were 51 million people in Myanmar, including 25 million males and 26 million females. The population has since increased to 54 million, and we estimate the male to female ratio from five years ago will remain unchanged.
The 2014 census also reports that there are 21.87 million people over 15 years of age who are employed. Further surveys reveal 5.8 per cent of males and 6.7 per cent of females from this demographic are working in the public sector, 35.3 per cent of males and 28.8 per cent of females are working in the private sector, 5.8 per cent of males and 3.5 per cent of females are employers, and 10.9 per cent of males and 26.1 per cent of females are working in family businesses.
From this, we can see that there are more females working in the public sector and family businesses. We can also see there are a larger number of males working in the private sector, owning businesses and as employers, compared to females. The charts in the survey show there are 74,000 males working in the education sector, compared to the 300,000 females. But even realistically, we can see there are more females taking the role of both teacher and student in the classroom. This can be an issue in the future for the nation’s human resource development.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also remarked on this fact during her recent visit to Taunggyi, Shan State. She said fewer and fewer boys were completing their high school educations, while more females were entering universities. She noted that we cannot ignore this, as those males who have not received sufficient education can become serious issues for society in the future. We agree with the State Counsellor and urge everyone to collaborate on solving this potential long-term problem.
It is vital that we brainstorm on methods to keep school-age boys in school long enough to complete their formal and vocational educations, and become valuable citizens. While a lack of formal education may not always result in a descent to anarchy, the social contracts and moral lessons learned in a holistic school environment can contribute much to a person’s integrity and character development.