Ms K’nyaw Paw an executive member of the Karen Women’s Organization and Presidium Board Member of Women’s League of Burma told Karen News that is crucial that women are an integral part of the on-going peace negotiations with the Burma government and the Karen National Union.
“It is important that women are represented during the peace talks and that are part of the peace process with the Burma government. We feature in every corner of our society, so why not in the peace talks. Our role needs to be officially recognised and our voices heard.”
Ms K’nyaw Paw points to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 that stresses the inclusion of women in peace talks.
A United Nations website – http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/wps/ – highlights the importance of including women in the resolution of conflicts and peace negotiations.
“The Security Council adopted resolution (S/RES/1325) on women and peace and security on 31 October 2000. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.”
Ms K’nyaw Paw told Karen News that the KNU has to negotiate with the Burma government’s delegation to include Karen women representation at the talks.
“We have requested the KNU to include the KWO or women representatives at the next round of peace negotiations and they [KNU] agree women need to be involved, but we are still waiting to have our presence at the talks confirmed by the KNU.”
Ms K’nyaw Paw said the Karen Women’s Organisation had formed a peace committee, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Recommendation 1325, to ensure women are represented during the peace process with the Burma Government.
The UNSC Resolution 1325 “urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict.”
The Global Justice Center, states on its website – http://www.globaljusticecenter.net/projects/burma/1325.html – that the “United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security applies to all aspects of the current situation in Burma, both the SPDC [government] as well as to the groups working to return democracy to Burma.”
The Global Justice Center is a human rights legal organization that “develops innovative strategies to enforce international law.”
The Global Justice Center notes that to date there have been many ceasefire agreements between the Burma government and the ethnic armies, however, “none of them have ensured the inclusion of women. Security Council Resolution 1325 requires that “when negotiating and implementing peace agreements, [all parties] adopt a gender perspective.”
The KWO’s Ms K’nyaw Paw said it was a positive sign that the Karen Women’s Organisation had received support from women’s groups inside Burma for their stance of being included in the peace talk negotiations.
“It is encouraging to have women’s groups with links to the Burma government support our position and calling for our inclusion in the negotiations.”