Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘women’

Combating Gender Based Violence in Myanmar

How can women in political parties in Myanmar support the campaign to end gender based violence?

While Myanmar is a signatory to The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) since 1997 and adopted the National Strategic Plan for Women Advancement (2013-2022) combat violence against women, there are no specific laws exist to address the issues of gender based violence. In recent years, the Government of Myanmar has worked with the Gender Equality Network and the UN to draft the Protection and Prevention of Violence against Women (PoVAW) Bill, which stipulates the need to protect women from all forms of violence. In this regard, the role of political parties to coordinate voices to advocate on gender based violence issues is crucial.

With the objectives of providing space for political parties to discuss their coordination and advocacy role on sharing updated information on the legislative process and reach consensus on common priority actions, MMDP organized a multi-party women forum on 3rd-4th July at Green Hill Hotel in Yangon. This forum also served as a platform for multiparty women and will be held as a series to discuss women related issues.

Dr. Mya Thaung, the Chair of Women and Children Rights Committee of the Upper House of Parliament delivered the opening speech and shared the challenges and the current action that has been taken by the Committee. During the forum, leading organizations on the legislative process such as Gender Equality Network and UN Women shared the country situation on gender based violence including facts and figures and international best practices, including strengthening legal and policy frameworks and the role of political party and how they can advocate. Ma Soe Soe Htay from the Arakan League for Democracy said “Cooperation with stakeholders is important to increase the public awareness on GBV issues and mapping the service providers across the region.”

An interactive panel discussion during the event focused on effective strategies and advocacy roles of political parties was led by Naw Hla Hla Soe, Secretary of Women and Children Rights Committee and MP from the Women and Children Rights Committee from the Upper House of Parliament, Ma Nan Phyu Phyu Lin, Advisor from Gender Equality Network and U Myint Thwin, Legal Advisor. Daw Maran Ja Seng Hkwan, MP from the Kachin State Parliament, also discussed, “it is the role of the political party to monitor the judicial system to combat corruption and increase access to justice for victims of GBV.” At the end of the event, parties released a joint statement including priority actions such as advocating on implementing gender responsive party policies to combat GBV, increasing public awareness on GBV, and establishing monitoring mechanisms to track access to justice for victims of GBV.

Regional Collaboration Asia

A Progress on Regional Collaboration

The Joint Mechanism for Political Party Strengthening (JOMPOPS) hosted sixteen delegates from Bhutan, four from Denmark and ten from Myanmar last week in Kathmandu.

In addition to the members of Parliament and influential political leaders from Bhutan and Myanmar, the visiting delegates comprised of the Hon. Lyonpo Dorji Choden, Minister for Works & Human Settlement, the Hon. Tshewang Jurmi, the Chairperson of National Commission for Women and Children, Bhutan, Mr. Manu Sareen, the former Minister for Equality, Denmark, Ms. Lone Loklindt, former MP, Denmark, and the Hon. Mya Thaung, Chair of Women and Children Rights Committee, Myanmar.

The main purpose of their visit was to attend the second regional conference on promoting women in politics; the first regional conference was held in Myanmar in March 2016. The visit also focused on strengthening overall collaboration among three DIPD’s partner countries in the region.

Informal Interactions

A number of informal interactions were planned by JOMPOPS during the visit in order to foster a deeper connection among politicians from the three countries. After the introduction meeting on the day of arrival on 19 September 2016, the visiting delegates went to a local resort outside Kathmandu for further interaction.

In the resort, the visiting delegates from Bhutan and Myanmar along with JOMPOPS members participated in the presentation sessions on Communication Skills by Mr. Manu Sareen and on Leadership by Ms. Lone Loklindt. These presentations were based on the practical insights from the Danish leaders thereby the participants said that they found them useful and asked many questions which had immediate relevance to their day to day political work. The delegates also attended a session on Moderation Skills by a local expert; this session was focused on preparing the moderators for the conference.

Former Minister for Equality, Mr. Manu Sareen speaking at Conference Nepal 2016

Former Minister for Equality, Mr. Manu Sareen speaking at Conference Nepal 2016

Similarly, the visiting delegates were invited to the Steering Committee meeting of JOMPOPS. That occasion was used to update each other on the political situation as well as to explain DIPD’s supported activities in all the three countries. The intention behind these sharing was to inspire and encourage each other.

On the eve of the conference, a dinner was organized by JOMPOPS attended by the high-level political leaders and other prominent national and international guests. It was also the opportunity for the visiting delegates to meet with the members of the Social Justice and Human Rights Committee of Nepal’s Parliament – the host of the two-day regional conference.

On the final day of their visit, again all the delegates along with JOMPOPS members came together in a local restaurant to reflect on their visit, to share their inspirations and their insights.

Parliament Tour

The Social Justice and Human Rights Committee of Nepal’s Legislature-Parliament invited the visiting delegates from Bhutan, Denmark and Myanmar for a tour in the Parliament and hosted a small interaction event.

The Committee took the delegates to the old Parliament building in Singha durbar, Kathmandu. The staff members explained that the Parliament was shifted to a new premise in Baneshwor because of the space constraints. After the Constituent Assembly elections in 2008, the number of parliamentarians increased from 205 members in the lower house to around 601 members. Since the old Parliament could not accommodate the additional members, the Parliament was shifted to a new building.

In a brief interaction event presided by the two Secretaries of the Parliament Secretariat, the participants got to know about the history and background of Nepal’s Parliament. The Secretaries explained that the first Parliament of Nepal was elected in late 1950s so Nepal’s Parliament now has a long history of nearly 50 years.

JOMPOPS Steering Group member, guests including Former Member of Danish Parliament Lone Loklindt

JOMPOPS Steering Group member, guests including Former Member of Danish Parliament, Ms. Lone Loklindt

 

A Progress

Coming together of the three countries in Myanmar for the first regional women’s conference in March 2016 was a beginning of the regional collaboration. It was the first opportunity for the three countries to be introduced and to get to know each other.

The second regional conference gave further opportunities to understand each other and deepen the regional connections. All the three countries have now signed the Kathmandu Declaration together through which they commit to work towards promoting gender equality. Therefore, the Kathmandu visit should be considered as a progress in the regional collaboration.

Regional Conference on Women in Politics & Social Justice, Nepal 2016

Regional Conference on Women in Politics & Social Justice, Nepal 2016

The success of this regional collaboration will be tested in the third regional conference in Thimpu, Bhutan. This success would depend on if the three countries are ready to work together on implementing their commitments to practice. As aptly said by Henry Ford:

Coming together is a beginning;

Keeping together is progress;

Working together is success.

She is aspiring to serve as Chair of Local Government in Punakha, Bhutan

Changyul-Tashi chiwog (nomination assembly) in Guma gewog, Punakha nominated 45-year-old Kinley Om for the post of Gup, (Chair of Local Government) last week.

She is the lone female gup candidate to contest  from Punakha for the local government election next month. Around 74 gup and mangmi candidates have been nominated from chiwog zomdus in 11 gewogs.

Two women from Shelgana and Talo gewogs have also been nominated for mangmi candidature.

Kinley Om of Lungsigang village was nominated with 169 votes against her opponent Rinzin Wangdi who secured 80 votes during the chiwog zomdu. Earlier, Rinzin Wangdi also served as gup.

Kinley Om who is a class-VI dropout said she never dreamt of participating in the local government election. “I was inspired to contest for gup following a training conducted by the Bhutan network for empowering women in 2015,” she said.

She attended the women empowerment training thrice. It encouraged and taught her about the importance of women’s participation in local government election. “We were also taught about what kind of person we need to be if we aspire to become a leader,” said Kinley Om.

Kinley Om is nervous of facing four male candidates from her gewog. However, she said she is not worried about wining or losing. “I will have no regrets even if I lose, but I would have regretted had I not contested,” she said.

If elected, Kinley said she is hopeful that she will be able to shoulder the responsibility with full dedication. Unlike in the past, where every work requires physical strength and men were considered superior to women, today everything is about working hard and dedication, she said.

Kinley said if she wins this election, she could inspire many young women dropouts like her.

Kinley Om will contest against other candidates from chiwogs like Dochukha-Risa, Guma-Woolakha, Phulingsum and Lakhu-Tshogwom.

The gewog saw eight aspirants for the post of gup, of which three could not pass the chiwog zomdu ladder. Phulingsum chiwog also saw a female candidate, who lost to Wangchuk with six votes.

Former gup, Namgay Tsheirng of Dochukha-Risa chiwog was re-nominated with 79 votes of 114 cast. Namgay Tsheirng who is a class XII pass out has served as gewog clerk for more than five years before.

Six other former gups of Shegnang, Toewang, Chhubu, Limbukha, Goenshari and Baap were re-nominated to contest for the upcoming election.

This article by Dawa Gyelmo was first published August 31 2016 in the Bhutanese newspaper the “Kuensel”.

Action on Ending Violence Against Women in Nepal

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2014, members of JOMPOPS decided to raise the most important issue concerning survival and security of women in Nepal: ending violence against women.

Read more

International Women’s Day in Nepal

On the occasion of the 103rd International Women’s Day, DIPD’s local partner in Nepal — the Joint Mechanism for Political Party Strengthening (JOMPOPS) – has decided to launch a campaign on Ending Violence against Women.

Read more