Women of Burma are calling for changes to their country’s constitution to improve the rights of women. Their call came at the end of a historic women’s forum that took place in Rangoon September 20th-22nd.
The Myanmar Women’s Forum was a three-day event jointly organized by the Women’s League of Burma and the Women’s Organization Network. More than 400 activists and policy makers came together to discuss the role of women in Burma’s peace-building processes and how to establish gender equality.
Forum members are urging the Constitution be amended to include principles from the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international bill of rights for women adopted by the United Nations. Burma has committed to the Convention but has not yet adopted it into its own laws. The country has come under heavy criticism from the international community for state-sponsored gender discrimination and sexual violence.
On the heels of the Forum, the government of Burma has launched the National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women (NSPAW). The Burmese Parliament is also hearing suggestions for constitutional amendments, though there continues to be a debate about how much should change.
“Burma Women Call for Amendment to Constitution”, The Irrawaddy, 24 September 2013
“Burma Launches National Plan to Empower Women”, The Irrawaddy, 7 October 2013
“Burma’s Ruling Party Says Constitutional Change Could Mean ‘Serious Danger’”, The Irrawaddy, 7 October 2013
Myanmar Women’s Forum Press Statement, Women’s League of Burma, 22 September 2013
Burma: Context, Nobel Women’s Initiative