The Myanmar government will officially release the Charter of Women’s Development in Naypyitaw on October 3.
The charter was jointly drafted, by INGOs, civil society organizations (CSOs), the Women Organizations Network (WON) and the UN after cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in May 2008, to provide assistance to women at the time of natural calamities and emergency situations. The CSO, Gender Equality Myanmar, led the drafting committee, in association with the government’s Social Welfare department.
Suzanna Hla Hla Soe from the WON told Mizzima, “The charter is based on the 12-point framework of the Beijing Women’s Development charter and the ‘Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women’ (CEDAW).”
The salient features of the charter are health and education for women and child development.
The Myanmar government endorsed and signed the charter four months ago.
Thai based Women’s League of Burma (WLB) and the WON jointly organized Myanmar Women’s Forum in Yangon for the first time from Sept 20 to 23, to deliberate upon gender equality, uplifting of the lives of women, role of women in peace building and federal union building in Myanmar.
WLB Patron Saw San Nyein Thu said at the forum, “The 2008 Constitution needs to be reviewed in accordance with the CEDAW for protection of women, guaranteeing gender equality and uplifting the lives of women.”
She added that women are sexually harassed and suffer from domestic as well as political violence.
Myanmar is a signatory of the CEDAW but the women organizations criticized the government for its failure to implement law and ensure protection of women.
After the forum, WLB and WON issued a joint communiqué on the hardships faced by women in Myanmar.