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Policy Brief: The Role of Armed & Political Movements in Implementing the WPS Agenda

Fight for Humanity and Berghof Foundation are pleased to announce the release of the policy brief: "Opportunities and Challenges for the Implementation of the Women, Peace & Security Agenda in Areas Controlled by Armed and Political Movements". It follows the publication of the research report that analyses the practices, policies, and challenges of two Ethnic Resistance Organisations (EROs) from Myanmar on women’s protection in conflict and their participation in the EROs and in peace building processes.

Over the course of 6 months, the research team conducted 47 interviews with the leaders of the two movements – the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the Karen National Union (KNU) - but also associated civil society organisations, women activists, as well as external stakeholders.

A video, “Women on the Margins” was also prepared following these interviews.

“Ethnic resistance organisations like the KNPP and the KNU have a key role to play in improving the protection of women in the current conflict in Myanmar. This will only be possible if more women have access to key and leadership roles within the movements themselves. But there needs to be a better understanding that women’s protection is a joint responsibility between both men and women”, says Anki Sjöberg, Fight for Humanity’s Co-Director and co-author of the research.

The research offers a set of recommendations for the international community and for the leaders of the two movements. While recognizing the efforts made, it highlights the necessity of encouraging inclusive discussion among conservative members to change their perceptions of women. It also stresses the importance for the EROs to further develop and implement policies on Women, Peace, and Security, with a particular emphasis on policies and measures related to protection.

The project team shared the research findings with the two movements who expressed their support to its main recommendations. “In the end, the two EROs have been vocal in recognizing the importance to progress in making women more present at the highest levels of the movement” says Boke Boke, lead author of the research. “This is very positive, and we hope the research will be a strong push to make a difference for women in the conflict.”

The methodology was also key in the success of this research: “We worked with two insider experts who are close to the two movements, they participated in each stage of the research, design, collection of data and analysis. It helped to build trust with the EROs, to collect the relevant information and to have a deep understanding of the movements’ internal dynamics when analysing the data.” says Veronique Dudouet, Senior Research Adviser at Berghof Foundation.

Fight for Humanity and Berghof Foundation will launch a new project in 2023 to support the implementation of the recommendations with the EROs in Myanmar. It will also extend the research to other armed and political movements in Yemen and the global context.

Download the Research Report in English here and in Burmese here.

Download the Policy Brief in English here and in Burmese here.

Watch the video here.

This project is supported by German Federal Foreign Office


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