Nang Wah Nu overcame the opposition of both her mother and her husband to enter politics. She is a Member of Parliament in Burma as a representative of the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party. Not only is she one of the very few women in parliament, she is also one of the few women of ethnic background to be elected. She is committed to improving the rights and lives of migrant workers.
In her interview for the Emerging Women of Burma documentary, Nang Wah Nu shares some of the difficulties she experienced as a child when trying to educate herself.
“In order to study, I had to stay in an uncle’s house since I was primary school age. I had to wake up at 4am in the morning and cook and I had to wash my own clothes and help with household chores. Though I wanted to take a rest or play as a young child, I couldn’t. As there was pig breeding at my uncle’s house, I also had to go and fetch the food for the pigs while at the same time I would try to go around and play in my neighborhood.
When I stayed at my aunty’s house, she wanted to save electricity, so when I wanted to study on the day when there was electricity, I would start studying at 6pm but then she would turn off the electricity at 8pm. I had to buy my own light bulbs, but she told me “you’re always studying so please do not study today” and she would take my light bulb. That was very awkward. It was funny but sometimes I felt depressed and I cried at those times.”
Stay tuned for the full interview featured in the Emerging Women of Burma documentary to be released in March 2014. To donate to this campaign and support the We women foundation, please visit: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergingwomenofburma/