The Karen Women Empowerment Group (KWEG), a community based group in Hpa-an ran a training for villagers to help them understand how to vote and what their rights are related to elections.
The three-day training workshop was held from 24 to 26 of March at the KWEG office in Hpa-an. The training was attended by 20 villagers from Hpa-an, Kawkareik, Hlaing Bwe and Kyain Seikgyi Townships in Karen State.
Naw Cynthia Win, an officer in-charge of the KWEG Hpa-an office said the aim of the training was to prepare villagers for the upcoming 2015 national elections to be held in early November.
“The 2015 elections are getting close and we want to give knowledge to villagers in several townships on voting and how to cast their votes. As a first step this training is a Train-the-Trainer. Then these trainees will go back to their villages to offer the same training to their respective villagers.”
Naw Cynthia Win said that Karen Women Empowerment Group is planning to offer more knowledge based training on elections and voting to make sure every vote is meaningful.
Naw Cynthia Win pointed out that during the 2010 elections, villagers voted with limited knowledge and experience about elections and many of their ballots were invalid.
Naw Pearl Wah took part in the training and said that she will give training to villagers in her area.
“We are scheduled to provide training in April to villages. This training will let voters know more about the voting system. They will also get to know more about their rights. In the previous election they [villagers] didn’t know how to vote and they were scared. Hopefully now, they will not be scare of elections or voting anymore.”
The KWEG works for the empowerment of women and for for equality of women and their activities include fighting for children rights, building self-reliance, community capacity building and advocating for sustainable development.