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“A Gentleman’s Agreement”

By Human Rights Watch  •  August 25, 2016

In theory, we can do it [increase women’s participation in the peace talks]. But in practice it’s difficult. So, we made a “gentleman’s agreement” to wait until later.

—Ethnic Armed Organization representative, Myitkyina, May 2016

Women make up just over half of the population in Burma, but have been noticeably absent from nearly four years of peace negotiations to end armed conflict in the country. Beyond women holding few, if any, senior positions in the parties involved in these negotiations, many women’s groups report being treated with disdain or as “spoilers” for pressing for the inclusion of women’s rights.

Burma has endured a number of prolonged internal armed conflicts since its independence in 1948, with three of the country’s seven ethnic-minority states facing ongoing fighting or tensions. In recent years the fighting in several parts of the country has worsened, with escalating violence in Kachin and Shan States resulting in countless civilian deaths and injuries, and the protracted displacement of over 200,000 people.

Over the years, negotiations between the government and ethnic armed groups have resulted in a number of ceasefire agreements. In October 2015 a partial nationwide ceasefire was concluded with eight non-state armed groups, while many others still maintained bilateral ceasefires, some over 20 years old.[1] But these agreements have so far not ended the violence nor created the conditions necessary for displaced people and refugees to return home.

Read this full commentary here: https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/08/25/gentlemans-agreement

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This post is in: Children and Youth, Displacement, Drugs, Economy, Ethnic Nationalities, Health, Human Rights, Law, Military Regime, Women

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