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Refiguring Women, Colonialism, and Modernity in Burma$
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Chie Ikeya

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834616

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834616.001.0001

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Women on the Rise

Women on the Rise

Education and the Popular Press

(p.46) 2 Women on the Rise
Refiguring Women, Colonialism, and Modernity in Burma

Chie Ikeya

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on the rise of educated women in Burma during the 1920s and the contemporaneous introduction of the first women's column “Yuwadi sekku” (Young ladies' eyes) in Dagon Magazine. It begins with an overview of changes in female education and literacy due to the expansion of a coeducational system of public instruction that provided primary and secondary education in Burma during the early twentieth century. It then examines how Dagon Magazine, and particularly “Yuwadi sekku,” helped in the emergence of the iconic educated young modern woman who, together with the first generation of women journalists, intellectuals, lawmakers, and teachers, symbolized the aspirations of young women in Burma to become knowledge brokers. It also considers how the women's column served as a forum for addressing the contentious “woman question”—that is, whether and which conditions of women needed reform. The chapter shows how the progress of women in Burma, especially through education, became a focal point of debates about modernization and nation building.

Keywords:   educated women, Yuwadi sekku, Dagon Magazine, female education, Burma, modern woman, coeducation, progress, modernization, nation building

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