For more than half a century, Myanmar was ruled by the military. Even now, with a civilian government in power, the military exerts considerable political influence and sees its involvement in national politics as a fundamental task alongside defending the sovereignty and integrity of the country. This factual situation logically derives from the origins and development of the armed forces.
Transformation is apparent in Nepal, a country that underwent a decade of civil war 1996–2006, abolished the monarchy to become a republic in 2007, agreed on a new constitution in 2015 and is currently struggling to implement federalism. Decentralisation and minority repre-sentation are being put on the political agenda alongside efforts to rebuild infrastructure dam-aged through two major earthquakes. Beyond this, Nepal appears to have developed into South Asia’s beacon of gender equality. Since 2016 Nepal has had a woman president, a woman chief justice and a woman speaker of parliament.