Karen Women’s Seminar results in new organization: Karen Women for Peace

Responding to Karen Women Participation as provided in UNSCR 1325
Date: 28th, November 2012

The first Karen Women Seminar was successfully held from 24th to 26th of November 2012. The meeting was attended by more than 40 Karen women who are working in a wide variety of fields including education, health, social work, emergency assistance, environment, human rights and women rights.

During the seminar, we discussed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 regarding women participation in the peace process, and analyzed Karen women’s involvement in the current peace process. In addition, we planned future activities with the intention to encourage the continuation of women’s active participation in the ongoing peace process.

Thramu Paw Gay Khu, the General Secretary of Federation of Trade Unions – Kawthoolei said that “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. We have seen that many women are motivated to take a more active role in the leadership and decision making process. We also came to the unfortunate realization that most of our Karen women are still marginalized and their views are all too often being ignored. 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.”

As a result of the seminar, a working group called “Karen Women for Peace” was established to enhance and improve cooperation among committed Karen women to constructively participate in the peace process. Moreover, an agreement was also made to organize another women’s seminar next year.

Contact- Nan Dah Eh Kler – +66 857269291

Karen women’s seminar press in Burmese final

Karen Women Seminar Press statement Karen Version, 2012

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About Karen Women Organisation

The Karen Women Organisation was formed in 1949 and has a membership of over 64,100 women. KWO is a community-based organisation of Karen women working in development and relief in the refugee camps on the Thai border and with IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and women inside Burma. Since our formation in 1949 we have expanded our focus from one of purely social welfare to try to encourage an awareness of Women's Rights and to promote women’s participation in the community decision making and political processes. The objectives of the KWO  To assist women in the endeavour to be free from all forms of oppression.  To promote and empower women in all spheres of life, including education and general living standards.  To encourage women to participate in the struggle for freedom, democracy and equality.  To develop women's knowledge, ability and skills, including political and organizational skills.  To achieve the rights of women and equal status with men.  To promote and maintain Karen culture and traditions.  To improve the well-being of women and children and to increase their access to adequate health, education and welfare services. KWO aims to empower women through offering various capacity building trainings to teach skills, build confidence and create new opportunities so that women will be better able to solve problems. We are working hard to educate ourselves and our communities so that we can work more effectively and advocate for our struggle on the international stage. We believe that women’s contribution is an essential factor in the peace-building and national reconciliation processes of Burma.