Chin Women Organization Formed to Promote Rights
27 October 2012: A team of women volunteers held a meeting in Hakha, Chin State yesterday, forming a community-based group called ‘Chin Women Organization (CWO)’.
The new civil society organization of Chin women, believed to be the first of its kind in the Chin capital, aims to work for the protection and promotion of issues related to women.
Pi Van Thla Cer Hniang, a newly elected chairperson of CWO, said of the need for the establishment of a civil society organization that focuses on social and secular issues of Chin women.
“CWO will make an effort to get engaged in activities, including empowering women’s capacity, promoting women’s rights and equality, and strengthening unity among Chin women, in order to make collective contribution towards building peace and our land,” added CWO’s chairperson.
The Hakha meeting took place at the house of Pu Chan Hrem, whose supports have been instrumental in the practical implementation of setting up the new organization of Chin women, added Pi Van Thla Cer Hniang.
Furthermore, one of the main objectives of CWO is also to make an effort in promoting and encouraging women’s involvement in politics, according to Pi Van Thla Cer Hniang as quoted by the editor of Hakha Youth Organization newsletter.
Participation and encouragement by Dr. Maureen Dar Iang, a Chin medical doctor working for the United Mission for Nepal, who is making a short visit to Hakha, has been attributed to the actual formation of the new organization.
Members of CWO are set to hold meetings in the near future with community, church and political leaders including Dr. Salai Lian H. Sakhong and Victor Biak Lian, prominent Chin activists visiting their native places after spending over two decades in exile.
Ms Nun Sang Hnem, CWO Secretary, said: “As a new organization, we have a lot of work to do and will have a series of meetings and discussions in days to come. We will need inputs from various organizations and individuals.”
Leaders of the new organization said of their willingness and the necessity of extending network and collaboration with other women organizations from both inside and outside of the country.
Out of Burma, the Women League of Chinland (WLC), an umbrella body of ten different organizations formed on 4 December 2004, has been actively involved in working for Chin women since 2005.
Exile-based WLC also focuses on capacity building for Chin women from Burma through workshops, training programs, safe houses and income generation.
In March 2007, WCL published a report entitled Unsafe State: State-sanctioned sexual violence against Chin women in Burma, documenting 38 cases of sexual violence committed by Burma’s military soldiers.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang