Vinoth Ramachandra

Watching Aung San Suu Kyi’s belated Nobel prize acceptance speech last week, I found myself pondering three matters. The first was how far we in Asia still have to go, compared with nations in Latin America and even sub-Saharan Africa, when it comes to women political leaders. There are plenty of women academics, diplomats and business CEOs, but the only women who have made it to the top in politics are those who have been wives or daughters of popular male leaders. Suu Kyi is no exception, though she stands head and shoulders above the rest; and having British family connections has no doubt helped her cause. I say this not to belittle her achievements (her courage, resilience, intelligence and eloquence were evident to all who heard her), but to honour the many brave women in Burma and elsewhere who have also suffered in the fight against tyranny and yet…

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