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"Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities, Progress for All"

UNFPA, Yangon, 12 March 2010 - UNFPA organized a Round Table Discussion on the Occasion of International Women's Day at the Sedona Hotel in Yangon, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, the Department of Social Welfare, the UN Gender Theme Group and the Women's Protection Technical Working Group. More than 90 participants representing Government, UN agencies, INGOs, and NGOs participated in the event.

It was officially opened by Mr. Bishow Parajuli, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative and presented the United Nations Secretary General's message on 2010 International Women's Day.

The UNFPA Representative for Myanmar, Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, highlighted issues related to the theme, followed by a presentation on "Situation of Women in Myanmar: Challenges and Opportunities". Then Ms. Pansy Tun Thein, UNFPA Assistant Representative, provided the summary of findings and recommendations of Post-Nargis Assessments on Protection of Women Issues.

U Aung Tun Khine, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Social Welfare, explained plans to develop the Plan of Action for Protection of Women in Emergencies.

Dr. Nyunt Nyunt Thane, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, made a presentation on "Women and trafficking" and Ms. Annami Lofving, Programme Officer, UNAIDS, discussed issues related to "Women and HIV". On behalf of local NGOs, Mr. Billy Kan Myat presented "NGO's efforts and programmes to empower women".

The discussion session focused on issues related to the theme with reflections on the situation of Myanmar. They highlighted the plans and programmes of the Government, civil society, the UN and donors in promoting gender equality and women's empowerment, including the way forward and how to strengthen partnerships to promote empowerment of women in Myanmar.

"UNFPA remains fully committed to working with partners to advance women's empowerment, gender equality and reproductive health and rights", said Mr. Ahad.

In addition to the technical discussion, there was a presentation of a documentary film on "A New Day of Hope" depicting the true story of a woman who survived the devastating Cyclone Nargis and how she was able to rebuild her life through effective community-based activities.