In connection to International Women’s Day on 8 March, both the Embassy of Denmark in Myanmar and the Norwegian Embassy in Yangon honored women of Myanmar while affirming their commitment to stand in solidarity with them.
More specifically, in honor of the women of Myanmar, the Embassy of Denmark shared words from Head of Mission Anders Graugaard and a quote from Nan Paw Gay, the Chief Editor of Karen Information Center (KIC).
In a statement, Head of Mission Anders Graugaard said:
Women continue to face bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. We all have a responsibility to take action for equality. As one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of gender equality, Denmark has put equality and rights a priority in its international development cooperation and humanitarian action.
On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to all women and girls across Myanmar who are demonstrating their leadership and resilience following more than one year of political instability and violence.
The Embassy of Denmark in Myanmar stands in solidarity with the women of Myanmar who are leading the way for a better future. To mark International Women’s Day, we will be publishing three stories this week, highlighting how women leaders are striving to promote human rights, media freedom, and ethnic inclusion in Myanmar.
About Nan Paw Gay, the Embassy shares that she has been in the media profession for 22 years while she has been contributing some of her time to the Karen Women Organisation. She has worked tirelessly to make the voices of the Karen ethnic heard in Myanmar. KIC publishes in three languages Karen, Myanmar, and English online.
The quote reads:
“With the chaotic political and security situation, including in my native Karen State, collection and distribution of news and information have become critically important. At a time when people have strong sentiments, we have to present the news with great care.
Since the military took over power, a growing sense of mental insecurity and pressure has dominated me in the management of the ethnic-based media house. A lot of pressure develops as I have to consider the security of my colleagues and our news sources while serving the interest of our readers.
The respect that I have received at work and the community’s recognition of our work has enabled me to overcome the challenges and depressing situation.”
To honor women in Myanmar, the Norwegian Embassy in Yangon issued a statement which reads:
On International Women’s Day, the Norwegian Embassy in Yangon honors the effort of women and girls in Myanmar, who have been exercising their fundamental rights to express their hopes for the future of their country.
Since the military takeover, women and girls have been at the frontlines as leaders of civil society organizations, civil servants, activists, journalists, and artists. Women have also been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. During a tragic surge in COVID-19 cases, many women continue in their activism and serve their communities while also assuming significant responsibilities as caregivers for sick family members and their children’s home-based learning.
Ensuring the equal participation of women and men with real influence in political processes and the labor market is one of the priorities of Norway’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Policy. The realization of women’s human rights is a goal itself for Sustainable Development; and a driver of democracy, poverty eradication, stability, and sustainable peace.
With this commitment, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Yangon actively engages in and supports actors who are working for equal rights and equal participation at all levels in political processes in Myanmar. The Norwegian Embassy in Yangon stands in solidarity with the women and girls of Myanmar and upholds commitments to continue to listen to their voices and support them in achieving human rights for all people.