30th Anniversary Of Karen Women’s Organization Media Advisory

“No Women No Peace”
WHAT: 5th April is KWO 30th Anniversary so we would like you to come celebrate with KWO on this special day. KWO Day celebrates the many women who contribute to building and strengthening the Karen community at every level. We will be honoring those who have served KWO full time for more than 10 years. We will also be launching 1 report and 1 book. These important documents both written in Karen language serve as important sources for our
community. One of the publications is the first Karen version of our seminal publication on Karen women village leaders in Burma; “Walking Among Sharp Knives”. It is essential at this time to highlight the importance of women’s leadership during the most dangerous periods of the long armed conflict compared with the current lack of women present during the peace process happening now in Burma. The other publication follows on from our Traditional Clothing competition last year and is a book in Karen about the rich tapestry of Traditional Clothing found in our Karen communities. The two publications will allow Karen women to advocate for themselves and better understand what is happening to the community broadly.

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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.