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Parliament agrees to women’s protection bill

The union parliament on Monday unanimously approved a proposal to swiftly introduce a law designed to protect women from violence.

Lower house MP Nan Say Awa said that violence against women is one of the major issues hindering the country’s efforts to alleviate poverty.

“Due to sexual violence, women suffer from unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and mental trauma, and they are also shunned by their communities. Sexual violence against women is detrimental to poverty alleviation and also the peace process, which is why I would like the government to adopt a law that can provide women with security and reduce violence against them,” she said.

The proposal, first suggested in July 2014 by Shan Nationalities Democratic Party representative Nan Say Awa, was discussed in the bicameral parliamentary session on 2 February.

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“In response to the proposal, the deputy home affairs minister told the parliamentary session today that a law to protect women from violence was being drafted. About ten chapters are completed. The minister suggested that the proposal be officially recorded,” Nan Say Awa told DVB on Monday.

“The speaker of the lower house urged the government to introduce the bill to the parliament without delay, so it was agreed to let MPs vote on this. The proposal was passed unanimously,” she added.

Women rights group in Burma have long called for legislation to protect women. Domestic and sexual violence against women is common, especially in areas of conflict.

On 19 January, the nation was shocked by the news of the brutal killing of young female Kachin teachers in northern Shan State’s Muse. The Burmese army has issued a denial of their culpability in the deaths.

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