On the 8th March, 2016 the British Embassy, in conjunction with the Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon, will host an important event to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event is titled ‘Myanmar: Women in the lead’ and will consider the role that women must play in Burma’s future. The event will focus on the two themes of entrepreneurship and leadership. Throughout the day there will be keynote speeches and panel discussions with some of Burma’s most impressive and inspiring women.  The event is open to all and will bring together men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds to share experiences and make new connections.

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world and it is an opportunity for us all to call for greater progress to achieving absolute equality for women as well as celebrating the important contribution women mane to global society and economy.

Burma is a focal country for the UK National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security and the UK is supporting a wide range of work on gender equality including: ensuring participation of women in public life; enabling women to have better access to economic opportunities and services; and ensuring the specific needs of women and girls are met in areas affected by conflict.

Lisa Weedon, Director of UKTI at the British Embassy and founder of the Yangon Professional Women’s Network said:

‘International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary contribution women make in this country.  This event will bring together remarkable women from all sectors to consider how we can work together to support entrepreneurship and develop leadership amongst Burma’s women.

It is also an opportunity to call for true gender equality in Burma. There is clear evidence that countries with more gender equality perform better both economically and socially. Burma is on an extraordinary journey and women will play a crucial role in its future.’

May Myat Mon Win, General Manager of the Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon said:

‘We are very honored to work together with UKTI in presenting an International Women’s Day Conference to mark International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2016.

Myanmar is moving into a newly progressive era and highly energetic and enthusiastic Myanmar women are essential in perpetuating this development. Self-confident, self-motivated and self-empowered women can achieve the previously thought impossible. Congratulations and cheers to all women around the world who make it a better place to live the remarkable.

I believe this event will bring about the broad awareness needed for all to support gender parity.’

Notes to editors:

  1. More information on International Women’s Day can be found on the UN website:
  2. The Professional Women’s Network in Yangon was established in March 2014 and is an informal network of local and international women working in all areas of business. The objective of the network is to share experiences and provide networking opportunities for women in Yangon. The network has hosted a number of events including panels of women in finance and women in leadership.

Background Information

March 8th is International Women’s Day. Governments across the world, alongside the UN and other international organisations, will use the opportunity to call for greater progress towards achieving absolute equality for women, and to celebrate the important contribution women make to our global society and economy. This year is the 150th anniversary of the 1866 petition to Parliament for women’s suffrage.

This year for International Women’s Day, the UK plans to showcase stories that show women shaping their lives and controlling the decisions that affect them, and women as leaders and decision-makers taking a full and equal part in society. The UK is celebrating the theme of ‘leadership and empowerment’ for International Women’s Day.

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out that rights are universal and apply equally to everyone, everywhere. Yet discrimination and violence against women and girls remains one of the most widespread human rights abuses. Article 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) requires state parties to ensure that all civil and political rights set out in the covenant are enjoyed equally by women and men. 143 out of 195 countries guarantee equality between women and men in their constitutions. However gender equality enshrined in law does not always translate to real life.

The UK is a strong supporter of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). At the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 14-24 March, UK will push for  robust language on UK priorities including ending violence against women and girls, increasing the economic empowerment and participation of women in decision-making.

The UK is committed to addressing violence against women and girls overseas. One in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence. Just two thirds of all countries have outlawed domestic violence, and only 52 countries have explicitly criminalised rape within marriage.

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