Burmese women’s groups say a newly signed National Ceasefire Agreement (NAC) will not succeed if ethnic minority groups and women continue to be excluded from Burma’s peace process. This agreement was signed on October 15th by the Burmese government and eight rebel armies.
Earlier this month, the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) released a statement outlining the reasons why this agreement is likely to escalate rather than resolve the conflict. According to WLB, the Burmese government has launched new military offensives in Kachin and northern Shan State, despite having previously committed to signing the NAC. These offensives have resulted in displacements which add to the already 200 000 displaced civilians in Northern Burma.
Many in the international community have applauded the ceasefire agreement. However, WLB urges the international community to pressure the Burmese government to include women and ethnic minorities in future political dialogue to ensure a more effective peace process. It also urges the government to immediately end its systematic abuses and military offensives. Specifically, WLB urges the government to fulfill its commitment to ensuring a 30% quota in terms of women’s future participation in political dialogue. Without this commitment, WLB insists that it will be impossible for the government to take the implementation of UN resolution 1325 seriously.
Statement by the Women’s League of Burma A non-inclusive Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement will not Bring Peace,Burma Partnership, 13 Oct 2015.
Myanmar Ceasefire Agreement: Where do women sign?, Global Observatory, 15 Oct 2015.
In Myanmar, There will be no democratic transition without women, Asia & Pacific Policy Society, Sept 2015.
Myanmar agrees to limited ceasefire without most powerful armed rebel armies, The Guardian, 15 Oct 2015.