The Nationwide Women Forum on Peace, Security and Development, jointly organized by women's human rights organizations and Columbia University, began at the Sky Star Hotel in Yangon yesterday.
The five-day forum is aimed at promoting the participation of women in politics, peace, development, and business activities, in particular to encourage women suffering from conflict and natural disasters to take part during Myanmar's democratization period.
“We have found that the level of participation of Myanmar's women in the local peace process and security sector has been very weak. One or two females now participate in politics and civil society,” said Salaing Aik Zet Khin, executive member of the Peace and Civic organization Forum.
“This forum is the first event held in Myanmar, jointly organized by local civil society organizations and the United Nations organization, to encourage Myanmar women to take part in more than just those activities.”
Yesterday's topic was “Peace, Security and Development.” Today, the forum will hear from ethnic women's groups, members of parliament from the Union Level to states and regions, high-ranking officers from the ministries, and non-governmental civic organizations, as well as organizations for the disabled, entrepreneurs, and religious associations.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday's topic will be the prevention of violence against women, to be discussed by organizations that are providing humanitarian aid to victims living in Kachin and Rakhine states.