Burma peace process: Greater women’s participation needed

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The Women’s League of Burma welcomes the inclusion of two women parliamentarians in the newly formed union-level Peace Committee. However, the WLB urges U Thein Sein’s government to consider a much greater increase in women’s participation as a start towards a genuine process of talks for sustainable and lasting peace.

Thousands of ethnic Karen have fled a Burmese Army military offensive in Karen State, along the Thailand-Burma border - Photo courtesy of democracyforburma.wordpress.com ,

Furthermore, in recognition of the significant role of peoples’ leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who is tirelessly working for the establishment of the rule of law and constitutional amendment towards democratic and lasting peace, we strongly urge U Thein Sein’s government to include her in the leading role of the union peace-building process.

In order to start a sustainable and lasting peace process, the military offensives in the Kachin, Shan and all other areas must be stopped, and a nationwide ceasefire implemented. If these military offensives continue, we are concerned that the existing ceasefire agreements between the government and ethnic armed groups will break down and lead to another generation of civil war.

UNSC resolution 1325 outlines the importance of women’s participation and a gender perspective relevant to all aspects of conflict prevention, management and resolution (including organising for peace, rehabilitation, reintegration and reconstruction).

Cedaw details the specific measures that should be taken to ensure women’s full involvement in political processes, such as peace negotiations, and in formulation and implementation of policy, including during the resolution of conflict.

As Burma is a signatory to Cedaw, we urge U Thein Sein’s government to commit to its obligation to ensure participation of women at all levels of the country’s peace-building process.

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We also urge the United Nations, the international community and people of Burma to call on U Thein Sein’s government and all ethnic armed groups to consider UNSC resolution 1325 and ensure the participation of women at all levels of the peace-building process in Burma and to ensure protection of women and girls in this situation of armed conflict.

15 May 2012

Contacts: Nang Hseng Noung + 66 (0) 81 884 4963 Daw Tin Tin Nyo +66 (0) 81 0322 882
Saw San Nyreim Thu +66 (0) 80 792 0445

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