Chaing Mai-based Women’s League of Burma has called for greater women’s participation in the peace process and politics.
The group’s leaders said last week they want to see 30 percent of seats in parliament reserved for women.
“We will encourage greater female participation in the decision-making process. We have to push for at least 30pc of seats in the hluttaw for women,” general secretary Daw Tin Tin Nyo said at a press conference in Yangon on Tuesday, December 18.
The press conference was held on the final day of an eight-day visit by the organisation’s leaders. During the trip they met officials from the Myanmar Peace Centre, political parties, women’s organisations and other civil society groups, as well as women MPs. During the meetings they discussed the political situation and exchanged views on the role of women in the peace process.
“We are satisfied with our discussions. All are willing to cooperate to include more women in their activities, particularly politicians. They want to get more women members in their parties and they want us to train them about politics. With this support we can implement our activities to get more women in the parliament,” Daw Tin Tin Nyo said.
As part of its advocacy work, the group has also written an alternative constitution aimed at encouraging the development of a “real democratic state” and achieving “genuine peace”.
“Our constitution is designed to point out weaknesses in the current constitution and the need to amend some points. In our constitution, we put points about the rights of women, so that they get at least 30pc of seats in parliament,” said joint secretary Saw San Nyein Thu.
“We plan to conduct awareness programs for women in Myanmar by cooperating with political parties and other associations so we can achieve our vision,” she said.
Women’s League of Burma was established in 1999 as a platform for the women of Myanmar to push for political change and work for gender equality.
The group’s representatives met Minister for the President’s Office U Aung Min twice in 2011 to discuss political issues and the peace process.
But Daw Tin Tin Nyo said the group does not want to officially relocate inside Myanmar.