Women's League of Burma
Background of the WLB
Women of all ethnic nationalities in Burma, particularly those belonging to ethnic minorities, have had to face unspeakable hardships such as the death of husbands and family members, forced laboring and pottering, rape, torture, extra-judicial killings, forced relocation, extortion, and confiscation of land and property under the rule of the Burma’s military regime. For these reasons, many Burmese men, women, and children have fled to neighboring countries where they continue to struggle for the establishment of democracy and human rights. In light of this continuing crisis, it is an undeniable fact that the contribution of women in the struggle to bring about human rights, democracy and equal rights for all nationalities will have a great impact and their participation in the national reconciliation and peace-building process is essential.
With this in mind, the second forum of the Women's Organizations of Burma was held in Chiang Mai from December 7 to 9, 1999. Women who attended the forum discussed and shared their views on ways and means to find a common platform, and how to work together to promote the role and participation of women in national affairs and women's affairs. The twelve participating women’s groups unanimously decided to form an umbrella organization, comprising of already-existing women's organizations of different ethnic backgrounds. In order to increase the participation of women in the struggle for democracy and human rights, to build mutual understanding among all nationals and participate in the national reconciliation and development process, and to enhance the role of the women of Burma both at national and international levels, the Women's League of Burma was established on December 9, 1999. Currently the WLB has thirteen members.
Through its three functioning arms, namely the Peace Building Program, the Women Against Violence Program, and the Political Empowerment Program, the WLB is dedicated to building trust, solidarity, and mutual understanding between all nationalities of women. Each of the programs consists of a dual approach to catalyzing change, through capacity building and advocacy. Our other projects include; Subgrant Capacity Building Project, Inland Project, International Criminal Court Project and our Media Advocacy Project.