Common Charter of Demands by Women’s Groups for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment across the Peace-Humanitarian-Development Nexus in Kachin State, Myanmar
Women and girls inKachin State are bornto experience the natureof earth’s beauty,and to contributepeace, harmony and well-being in theirfamilies, communities, overall societyand the nation to shape the processfor sustainable development for all. OnJune 9, 2011, human-made armed conflictemerged in Kachin State, and hassince then resulted in extensive loss oflife, damage to infrastructures, destructionof livelihoods and protracted andcontinuous displacement of more than100,000 civilians. Prolonged displacementand further restricted humanitarianaccess since 2016 has affected thedisplaced communities’ coping resilience,compounding vulnerabilities andmarginalisation, and exposing communitiesto negative coping mechanisms,protection risks and threats includinggender-based violence and human trafficking.
Among the displaced and conflictaffected population, women andgirls are disproportionately impacteddue to persistent gender inequalitiesand gender discrimination in societystemming from socio-cultural and religiousnorms, and further reflectedacross laws, policies, formal and informalinstitutions. Women from ethnicand religious minority groups, women oflower socio-economic status, displacedwomen, women living with disabilities,gender-based violence and human traffickingsurvivors, elderly women, adolescentgirls, girls, pregnant and lactatingwomen, transgender, lesbian andqueer women are among the worst impactedsuffering from multiple layers ofdiscrimination and marginalization andwho require targeted attention. Thisscenario is impeding women and girlsin Kachin State’s participation in decisionmaking, as well as their inclusion inrecovery, transition, and peace processes,in order to shape peace, humanitarianand development policy, planningand programmes.
Yet women, women’s organisationsand advocates are willing and readyto step up, if given the support andopportunities. It is crucial for GenderEquality and Women’s Empowermentto be recognized as a central elementof peace building, humanitarian actionand sustainable development. Achievinggender equality is precursor andaccelerator for effective, accountableand sustainable strategies and togetherwe all share a collective responsibilityto achieve it. Hence, the Kachin StateWomen’s Network and its member organisationscall on all stakeholders andduty bearers from across the Governmentof Myanmar, local authorities,CSOs, faith based organisations, andthe international community to take actionin accordance with this CommonCharter of Demands for Gender Equalityand Women’s Empowerment acrossthe Peace-Humanitarian-DevelopmentNexus in Kachin State, Myanmar.
Overall, and end to the conflict and promotingpeace is the most paramountdemand and dream of all people inKachin State, Myanmar.