The Karen Women Organization held a ceremony to honor the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2012 by celebrating their victories and at the same time vowed to continue their fight for the emergence of legal protection and a guarantee of protection of women against violence.
Naw Dah Eh Kler, secretary of the KWO spoke to Karen News.
“Now in Burma there are no access to a fair trial and to a rule of law to protect women who have been abused. We want to have these legal protections for women and we will continue to fight for it.”
The KWO celebrated the International Women’s Day at their headquarters on the Thai-Burma with individuals and representatives from Karen Community Based Organizations such as the Karen Teacher Working Group, Karen Office of Relief and Development and many other community based organizations.
The ceremony’s programs included honoring and encouraging women’s roles in the Karen struggle and the reading out of a KWO statement on International Women’s Day.
The KWO has worked for many years to protect, support, defend and empower women who have been abused. This year, the KWO localized the International Women’s Day celebration under their banner – “Women moving forward from Fear to Freedom”.
A KWO statement noted that “women have been taught to be afraid, to live each day with fear.”
According to Naw Dah Eh Kler, the KWO and representatives from Karen CBO’s examined how far women still have to go to achieve their equal rights.
Naw Dah Eh Kler said.
“We discussed and encouraged each other how we will move forward to reach our aims in the future.” Naw Dah Eh Kler pointed out that government and leaders in society have to provide opportunities and a system that would lead to protection of women and organizations representing women.
A woman from Burma, temporarily living in Thailand, said she is proud to have attended the women’s day celebrations.
“I feel proud that women issues are recognized and there is International Women’s Day recognized internationally. At the same time, I also feel a responsibility to make more of my role since the women’s day recognizition.”
This years International Women’s Day is the 101st anniversary since its formation on March 8, 1911.
The Karen Women’s Organisation was formed in 1949 and has a membership of over 49,000 women. KWO is a community-based organisation of Karen women working for women. The KWO runs programs on education, care for and assist women who are victims of violence, helps women and children living in refugee camps and in now involved in the peace building process between the Karen National Union and the Burma government.