“For our wishes, we want [women] to have 30% involvement. But there is no policy, at any organization, for women to be included [in the political sector],” said Mi Kon Chan Non, advisor to the Mon Women’s Day organizing committee.
Mi Kon Chan Non continued that women should hold decision-making and leadership roles in the political sector, remarking that the call for such things at this moment is not for women to win more votes, but for women to be represented more fully in the political sphere. The Mon Women’s Network has pledged to help women gain representation, as well as provide educational training for women to increase their interest and knowledge of politics.
The Mon Women’s Network released a statement calling for the government and armed groups to acknowledge the rights of women throughout Burma’s political talks, to carry out justice and uphold the rule of law for women who have been victim to abuse, and to implement policy granting women “national rights, political rights, and peace rights”.
“Women should be involved in 30% of politics, and there should be open access for women to do so. To tell the truth, in political organizations, there has yet to be acknowledgment for women to become involved in 30%. So, while the women themselves have to work hard to become involved in politics, it is also necessary for the other sides, including political organizations, to invite women to work with them,” said Ko Aung Htoo, project manager of the Nyein Foundation based in Moulmein, Mon State.
The 10th anniversary Mon Women’s Day celebration was held on March 1st from 5pm-11pm at Mon Hall in Moulmein, Mon State. More than 300 people attended the event, including Mon State Minister of Economics and Planning Dr. Min Nwe Soe, Hluttaw Representative Dr. Aung Naung Oo, members of the Mon National Party (MNP), members of the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP), members of civil society organizations, and local residents.
Mon Women’s Day honors the birth of famed Mon Queen Mi Cao Bu (Shinsawpu), born during the waxing of the 12thmonth of Tapaung on the Mon/Burmese calendar. The first celebration of this day was held in 2005.
This year’s 10th anniversary Mon Women’s Day was celebrated by Mon women’s organizations in Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, and the U.S.