Karen women want say in peace process

The Karen Women’s Organisation released a statement today to say they 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 Karen Women Organization statement was issued as a result of discussions held during its 2nd Central Standing Committee’s meeting after the 5th congress that started on the 26th January and ended on 28th. The meeting was attended by 40 representatives from seven Karen State districts and held at a location on the Thai-Burma border. The KWO statement explained.

“The on-going peace process was discussed, analyzed and representatives decided to participate in the Karen peace process as KWO believes that women’s participation is important. KWO formed a peace committee to represent the needs, concerns and suggestions of women and children and to ensure women’s voices are heard and recognized during the peace process.”

The KWO delegates at the 5th congress meeting reviewed and improved the KWO’s current constitution, policies on different issues, management structure and implementation of tasks at all levels.

“KWO also plans to raise awareness about the possible refugee repatriation process in the refugee community and to advocate for women and refugee participation in the process.”

The KWO was formed in 1949 and now has 49,000 members.

A KWO spokeswoman said.

“We mainly work on women’s capacity building, the special needs of women and children, documenting human rights violations and advocating justice for women who have been sexually abused by the Burmese military along with other woman related issues.”

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