NAYPYITAW — Vice President Henry Van Thio vowed to ensure that women make up 30 percent of the participants in every sector during an event marking International Women’s Day in Naypyitaw on Friday.
“It has been set out in the political framework of the Union Accord to guarantee at least 30 percent women’s participation in all sectors,” he said.
The government, he added, was implementing 2013-2022 national strategic plan for advancement of women that targets 12 for gender equality, in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Declaration and its Platform for Action.
The priority areas laid out in the plan are livelihoods and poverty reduction; education and training; health; violence against women; emergencies; the economy; decision making; institutional mechanisms; human rights; the media; the environment; and girls.
Task forces have been formed as part of the plan to prevent violence against women and girls, help them participate in politics and business, promote gender equality in all sectors, and ensure peace and security for women.
At the event, representatives of Myanmar Women’s Organization Network said there was also much work left to do to educate men about respecting women.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement has opened “one stop women’s support center” to help women who experience violence in Yangon, Mandalay, Lashio in Shan State, and Mawlamyine in Mon State. Minister U Win Myat Aye said centers were also planned for Irrawaddy Region, Kayah State and Karen State.
“Though 30 percent women’s participation is granted, it is important that they have decision-making positions. Women’s participation is very low in every sector,” said Upper House lawmaker and women’s rights activist Naw Hla Hla Soe.
She said seminars on women’s rights, practical help for victims, legal support and the rule of law were all important factors.
The slogan for this year’s Women’s Day is, “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.”
Henry Van Thio urged women, who account for more than half the national population, to unlock their potential and work shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts in establishing the rule of law, promoting socio-economic development, and building peace and federalism.
The event was attended by First Lay Daw Cho Cho, Union ministers, and representatives of women’s rights groups and other local and international non-governmental organizations.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.