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WLB calls for nationwide women’s convention

Originally appeared in: Peace Women

The Women’s League of Burma (WLB) told a Burmese government peacemaking delegation on Thursday in Bangkok that it wanted to hold a nationwide women’s convention to discuss peace and reforms and the role of women in development.

WLB General-Secretary Tin Tin Nyo said a convention was needed to explore ways to bring more Burmese women into the peacemaking and reconciliation efforts of the country.

The WLB delegation met with the government’s peacemaking group led by Union Minister Aung Min.

The WLB said a national women’s convention could include women in Burma, in exile, and also women Members of Parliament in discussions of capacity building, leadership roles for women, peace-building activities and the general development of women.

Tin Tin Nyo said that Aung Min recognized the role of women in state building and the equality of men and women.

“Aung Min told us that he would like to see our women organizations as catalyst in the peace-building process and to expedite this process. This is what our current activity is. What he said at the meeting encouraged us,” she said.

Tin Tin Nyo said they discussed the voluntary repatriation of refugees to Burma, and ways the WLB could aid in this process.

On the issue of providing assistance to Kachin war refugees, Aung Min said that aid groups were providing assistance to the war refugees, but peacemaking meetings with the Kachin Independence Organization had yet to bear fruit.

Aung Min also met with Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) members in Bangkok to discuss issues that came up at the Rakhine State-level talks in April. Immigration Minister Khin Yee said they saw positive signs in meetings this week with many Burmese organizations based on the Thai-Burma border.

“Our president wants to see peace restored in the entire country,” he told Mizzima. “These meetings are constructive and positive.”