BURMA: Women; Children Suffered During Election: WLB

Friday, November 26, 2010
Burma News International
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

Women and children suffered terribly during the 2010 general election given the gun battles in border areas, according to a Women's League of Burma (WLB) statement issued on Thursday, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

“The 2010 election has not ushered in anything good in Burma. The new elected government cannot do a thing for improving women's life. Sporadic exchange of gunfire in the border areas results in women and children facing insecurities and suffering lots of problems,” Ma Tin Tin New, secretary 1 of WLB, told KIC.

Myawaddy residents fled to Thailand because of gun battles breaking out on November 8 between the Burmese Army in Myawaddy and DKBA battalion No. (902) under Brigade 5 led by Brigadier Gen. Saw Lah Bwe, who rejected the BGF proposal and 2010 election. Women and children comprised a majority of the refugees.

“Children and women suffer from the consequences of gun battles in ethnic areas. We are continuing to fight for eliminating violence against women and children,” Nan Dar El Kalae, a member of the trustee of WLB, said.

A 13-year old girl was killed and a boy injured in Kyar Inn village on November 9 because the Burmese Army shelled the village in Kyar Inn Seik Gyi town, Karen State.

The WLB welcomed the condemnation by the UN General Assembly on Burma's 2010 election saying that it's not free and fair. The WLB urged the ASEAN governments not to recognize the result of the election in Burma because it will lead to more violence on women.

The WLB felt that if the junta does not hold a dialogue with ethnic groups and democratic opposition groups including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and continues to implement its roadmap, the situation in Burma will worsen and women and children will suffer.

Even though the military regime ratified the CEDAW agreement, the regime has continued to violate the agreement and commits violence against women.

The WLB was formed with 13 Burmese ethnic groups on December 9, 1999. The WLB members held a workshop, round table talks and events on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Thailand, Bangladesh and India.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was declared by the 83rd UN general assembly on December 17, 1996.