No differentiation in human rights

  • Myanmar has been undergoing a democratic transition in recent years, in addition to the peace process and a myriad of other development and reform processes. One of the aspects of democracy is human rights, entitled to all people within the nation, and under which is the rights of women and children.
    There have been many advancements in the country concerning women’s rights and opportunities as more and more women are entering into prominent political and economic positions. Just recently, the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women was celebrated in Mandalay and the 16 Days of Activism was held in Nay Pyi Taw, with this year’s slogan being ‘#HearMeToo’.
    However, there is no denying that, at present, crimes and violence against women and children are increasing, and the framework of law on these transgressions need to be complete and reliable, while penalties and punishments need to be effective.
    One out of three women worldwide experiences violence during her lifetime, according to a statement issued by The Heads of Mission of the European Union Delegation and EU Member States accredited to Myanmar.
    The statement outlines the effects of violence against women include shame, silence and stigma and allows violence to escalate.
    Keeping silent on violence is not an option. Every woman’s voice must be heard, whether in the workplace or at home. But this concerns all of society and therefore, men and boys must also be knowledgeable about the matter, promote gender equality in all types of relationships, and condemn the use of violence to resolve conflicts anywhere in the community. This mindset needs to be carried on in all acts of human rights in the country, not just for women or men.
    Myanmar recognizes these elements and has joined the Convention on the Rights of the Children (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
    It is heartening to know that the Office of the Union Attorney-General is also cooperating for the establishment of laws that are complete and satisfactory, on par with international standards to protect children and women.
    If we may think that the rights of women and children are not concerned with us or feel it is an issue too vast for one person to handle, we must remember that changes can start at the home and in our lives. Our mothers and sisters, and daughters and wives are all women who are an integral part of our lives. If we can empower or support the closest women in our lives, then all of our collective efforts will have the strength to make a positive impact on the nation and the world.
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