Women have little guarantee of being able to play a role in Myanmar’s peace process and post-crisis situations, according to a book to this topic.
“Looking at the Current Peace Process in Myanmar through a Gender Lens”, written by Salai Isaac Khen and Muk Yin Haung Nyoi, is critical about the lack of women involved in helping to resolve some of the country’s biggest problems.
The book was written following interviews with government officials, parliamentarians, ethnic armed groups and political party leaders, gender groups, non-government organisations, peace working groups and women’s associations. It takes suggestions from all such parties.
The book says the lack of guarantees to give women empowerment in peace building and post-crisis situations may worsen women’s lower status when participating in economic, social and political affairs.
Myanmar’s promotion of roles for women is much less than the United Nations recommends for women being involved in peace processes, the book says.
Union Minister Aung Min said that the Myanmar Peace Working Committee was not ready to start pushing this issue, however he admitted that having women participate in the peace process was important.
The Karen National Union and Chin National Front have a policy of requiring 30 per cent participation by women in political dialogue. However, no other ethnic group has such a policy.
And while the KNU has this policy, women’s participation in the KNU has not reached 30 per cent, according to Naw Zipporah Sein, a vice-chairperson of the Karen organisation.
The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team has said it will try to get a 30 per cent participation rate from women since the government said that if they did have such participation, it would be difficult.
The book suggests the government should draft a national project to boost the number of women that take part in the peace and security process, plus women’s participation in development and political dialogue for ceasefires and peace building. What is more, it urged ethnic armed groups to ensure women are free from fear in ceasefire areas.
Gender Analysis of the Current Peace Process in Myanmar