Feature Story

Report on Commemoration of International Women’s Day 2012

8 March 2012

“Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and the Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation (MWAF) in collaboration with UNFPA and Women Protection Technical Working Group (WPTWG), celebrated the International Women’s Day 2012 in Nay Pyi Taw on 8 March. The auspicious commemoration of the International Women’s Day was attended by a wide range of stakeholders from government, civil society, UN and the diplomatic corps.

Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, Vice President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, delivered an opening address urging women to take part in rural development, environmental preservation and management, and natural disaster preparedness under guidance and leadership of the State.

He also recognized efforts to promote health and socio-economic status of women by the Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation (MWAF), Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association (MMCWA), Myanmar Women’s Entrepreneurs’ Association (MWEA) as well as local and international NGOs.

Mr. Ashok Nigan, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator deliveredthe UN Secretary General’s message on International Women’s Day that calls for empowerment and ending hunger and poverty of rural women.

In his message, the UN Secretary General urged all Governments, civil society and the private sector to commit to gender equality and the empowerment of women- as a fundamental human right and a force for the benefit of all. “The energy, talent and strength of women and girls represent humankind’s most valuable untapped natural resource” said the Secretary-General.

Dr. Thet Thet Zin, President of MWAF shared the objectives and future work plans for the enhancement of the role of Myanmar women.

At the end of the ceremony, the Vice-President and all invited guests viewed the activity photos and materials displayed at the booths by participating institutions.

The International Women’s Day was also held in Yangon on 12 March 2012 led by NGO Gender Group, Thingaha Gender Working Group, Women Organisation’s Network of Myanmar (WON) and Women Protection Technical Working Group (WPTWG). Photo and video documentations, and advocacy materials were displayed at the 20 booths.

The message of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA for International Women’s Day was circulated to the media. In his message, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin said that many rural women have limited autonomy and low status, which puts them at increased risk of hunger, gender-based violence and other human rights violations. “Advancing rural women’s political, social and economic status are vital ends in themselves as well as critical strategies to eradicate poverty, promote women’s rights and pave the way for sustainable development” he said. He called on all stakeholders to join efforts in promoting women’s health, education and rights and to improve gender equality and build a world of opportunity where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person can fulfill their potential.

Contact person: Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, Representative, UNFPA ([email protected])