KWO Statement on International Women 2019 Burmese VersioThe Karen Women Organization (KWO) welcomes another International Women’s Day. Our themes for this year is “Courage to Speak, Ending Impunity Now”.
This year marks the 108th year of International Women’s Day. It is extremely important that we look back to celebrate the progress and achievements of women all over the world. It is equally important we commit to continuing the fight for what we believe, overcoming all the challenges we face.
We have come so far. Sadly, we still have a long road to travel but not an impassable one.
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Click below to download full statement in Burmese:
On March 4th, the Burma Army began the largest and most coordinated deployment of troops into Karen State’s Mutraw (Hpapun) district since 2008, breaching the terms of the NCA and provoking multiple clashes with the Karen National Liberation Army’s (KNLA) 5th Brigade. Burma Army soldiers have indiscriminately targeted civilians while more than 2,400 villagers have been forced to flee their land and homes. The majority of those displaced by the Burma Army’s current operations had only recently returned to rebuild their villages, farms, and livelihoods following decades attacks by the Burma Army and displacement in the area.
The KNU and Burma Army are both signatories to the 2015 NCA, which prohibits the expansion of military infrastructure and troop reinforcements in ceasefire areas. However, since March 4th, at least eight Burma Army battalions have entered Luthaw, without the required prior agreement from the KNLA, and begun constructing a military operations road to connect their military bases. If the road is built, Indigenous Karen villagers may be permanently displaced from their homes and ancestral village territories.
KWO is excited to announce the formation of a new a new “Karen Grassroots Women’s Network” which will strengthen the voice of Karen women in advocacy efforts. KWO gathered women from a wide variety of Karen civil society organisations for the third Karen Women’s Seminar at the end of March 2018.
The women discussed issues for two days and decided to form the new Grassroots Women’s Network. At the conclusion of the seminar the attendees jointly endorsed the following resolutions:
- We call on the Burma Army to stop their military operations in all ethnic areas.
- We want the 2008 constitution to be abolished and call on the Burma Government to begin a process whereby a genuine federal constitution can be drawn up.
- We also call on all stakeholders to stop mega development projects in all ethnic areas until there is genuine peace and a political settlement.
- There must be no forced repatriation of refugees.
- We also call on the international community and donors to continue to support
humanitarian aid to refugees and IDPs according to international standards until peace is restored in the country
On the 23rd of November, KWO members and leaders were excited to launch our 16 day International Days for the Elimination of Violence against Women Campaign. The KWO campaign focus this year, is “Stop Domestic Violence Against Women and Children”. We will have activities in 7 Karen Refugees Camps and 7 districts in Karen State for members of our community to participate in. Below are photos from the launch.
KWO Statement in Support of Karen Day in Washington DC in English Version
For one dollar a day Every child is entitled to an education and to live as full a life as possible. Refugee children with, or without, disabilities deserve the same. Indigenous Karen people from Burma have lived as refugees in camps in Thailand for a long time. We formed the Karen Women’s Organization to strengthen and serve our community. There were no Special Education services in our homeland, nor in the refugee camps. Children with disability were at home, often sitting in a dark corner, and their parents had no support. So we organized ourselves and built a project to provide services and support to children with special needs. We trained refugee women to work with our disabled children and to support parents. We raised money. And we have changed lives. Tragically, our financial support has been severely reduced as other refugee crises have pulled resources.
To commemorate the World Refugee Day on 20th June 2017, standing together with refugees, the Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) would like to share the voices and concerns of Karen Refugees along the Thai -Burma border.
The video “Don’t abandon us” tells the story of refugees who are facing cuts in humanitarian aid while being encouraged to return before their homeland is secure. The video documentary was filmed in two Karen Refugee camps, Mae La Oon and Mae Ra Ma Luang.
KWO is in urgent need of a volunteer who can come and work with us for a minimum of 6 months. Ideally, we would love a volunteer who is fluent in both the Karen language, as well as the English language. However, we are also happy if we can find a volunteer to work with us who is fluent in English and has good writing skills. We are looking for a volunteer who is between the age of 25 to 50.
It would be best if a volunteer has some experience in working in community or in humanitarian work. We are also looking for self-confidence and good physical health with some background knowledge of Burma, the Thai Burma border and our women’s movement. The volunteer would be expected to work 5 days a week and would be mostly based in our Mae Sariang office. KWO can provide shared accommodation in the KWO staff house, 3 meals a day and a bicycle for getting around the small town of Mae Sariang.
The work would mostly involve assisting with the editing of funding proposals and reports, occasionally summarizing important news or reports for the women in our organization to be able to understand them and assisting staff in writing emails. If the volunteer had some skills that were useful for our staff, we may also ask them to share these.
For Karen women living overseas (especially), this would be a great opportunity to get some hands on work experience in a development setting, as well as a wonderful opportunity to understand the current situation on the border and in Burma. This kind of experience is highly regarded by colleges as well as by employers.
Please contact us at : email@example.com