The Women’s Organisations Network – Karen State (WON-KS) held an awareness-raising programme on violence against women in Kha Lel Village in Kyain Seikgyi Township, Karen State on 28 November.
The WON-KS chairperson Naw Khaing Thitzar said: “As part of the 16 days of activism to fight violence against women, we have come here to hold this [program]. We came to raise awareness on how to cooperate in cases of violence against women.”
Since the civilian NLD government came into power more cases of violence against women have come to the public’s attention. Previously the powerful had a hold over the weak and there was a little rule of law because in rural areas such people could use money to buy their way out of being punished for abuse.
The Village Women’s Affairs Group, the Maternal and Child Welfare Group, education staff, and nearly 200 women from 15 villages attended the awareness-raising program in Kha Lel Village.
Nan Khin Myint Aung from Kha Lel Village said: “When there were domestic violence cases and other physical and mental abuses against women, some of them didn’t dare to report [the abuse] to the authorities. We have learned how to protect uneducated women when they have been abused.”
The WON-KS has been giving awareness training programs and boosting the morale of women affected by war since their foundation in 2013.
The organisation plans to hold another awareness-raising program on violence against women at Taw Win Yadanar Hotel in Hpa-an on 25 November and at Pai Kyu Village of Hlaingbwe Township on 2 December.
Similarly, the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) also released a briefing paper on 25 November that called on state actors to end the systems that fail to take action against perpetrators of sexual violence.
Translated by Thida Linn
Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI