The first ever Karen Women’s seminar has been attended by more than 40 Karen women who work in a wide variety of fields, including education, health, social work and human rights.
“This is the first time Karen women from various geographic areas have come together to consult and discuss various issues related to women participation in the peace process.” The General Secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions, Thramu Paw Gay Khu, said.
The two day seminar, held from the 24th to the 26th of November, discussed the recent United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) regarding women’s participation in the peace process. Part of UNSCR 1325 is aimed to reaffirm the international community’s adherence to pursuing improved Women’s Rights across the world.
The Karen women involved in the seminar plan to advocate for women’s active participation in the ongoing peace process between Burma’s government and the Karen National Union (KNU).
Thramu Paw Gay Khu said it was vital women are not pushed out to the fringes of the political system because of their gender.
“We also came to the unfortunate realization that most of our Karen women are still marginalized and their views are too often being ignored,” Paw Gay Khu added, “I felt this seminar provided a safe space for many women to share their difficult experiences and support each other so we all have more resilience to keep working of behalf of Karen women and our community.”
The seminar led to the establishment of a working group called ‘Karen Women for Peace’ in order to enhance and improve cooperation among committed Karen women to constructively participate in the peace process.
An agreement was also made to organize another women’s seminar next year.