Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Encourages Women to Participate in Peace Process

By Htet Naing Zaw 9 March 2017

NAYPYIDAW — Speaking at an International Women’s Day celebration on Wednesday in Naypyidaw, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she hoped for 50 percent participation for women in the country’s peace process.

“There are ongoing movements calling for 30 percent participation in the peace process. I want more than that; I want 50 percent,” she said, adding that participation did not necessarily mean sitting in on the conference.

“Peace does not start at the meeting. It starts in the hearts of citizens. It concerns all citizens and women should take an active part in this process,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.

As the State Counselor attended the opening forum of the country’s Women’s Week celebrations, she held talks with prominent businesswomen and urged their participation in the peace process.

Our women can make powerful contributions. If they use their business-minded brains toward peace, it will be a great help to our country,” she said, calling on women to consider how they can offer support to the process.

Daw May Sabe Phyu, a prominent women’s rights activist, said she welcomed the official invitation but that in reality, women were still not afforded the opportunity to take important positions.

“Women have been behind the scenes for a long time. Why aren’t they allowed to take decision-making roles?” she asked.

Although government guidelines call for 30 percent participation, women still cannot participate to that extent in reality, she added.