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Burmese gender rights group meet with global leaders

The Elders, in their visit to Burma in 2013.

The Women’s League for Burma (WLB) raised the issue of sexual violence committed against ethnic women in a meeting with representatives of The Elders in Chaing Mai on Saturday.

On 13 December WLB met with representatives of The Elders – a group of “independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights”, as described on their website – including the former Finnish president and Norwegian prime minister who are plan to visit Burma soon.

Tin Tin Nyo, general secretary of the WLB, told DVB the group also discussed with The Elders about the ongoing civil conflict in Burma and other political issues.

“The [Elders], analysing the political environment in Burma, pointed out the two main obstacles in Burma are the existence of the military and the constitution,” said Tin Tin Nyo.

In their first visited Burma led by the former United States president Jimmy Carter in September 2013, representatives of The Elders noted there are very few women involved in the country’s political process – with women making up only five percent of parliament – and underlined the need for changes.

However, their time in Burma was not all a success and peace activists described them as inattentive to the issues they raised.

The Elders was founded by the former South Africa president Nelson Mandela in 2007, and have been advocating political and economic reform in Burma.