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The We women foundation is dedicated to empowering women from marginalized ethnic areas in Burma. By providing professional and educational opportunities to the strong women of Burma, the We women foundation strives to build capacity within the marginalized communities in Burma so that women can make and influence policy decisions which are too often made by outsiders.
The We women foundation was founded in the service of assisting unrecognized refugee women from Burma. Although the particulars of each woman’s story may vary, the reason for their flight from Burma is the same: life under military dictatorship in Burma is harsh, characterized by chronic economic, social and political crises. For the past forty-eight years, forced labor, forced relocation and armed insurgency fuelled by ethnic and political tensions is daily life reality for people throughout the country. Crossing the border is extremely dangerous and when women finally reach Thailand, they face a new set of challenges. As Thailand does not recognize all ethnic groups from Burma as refugees, these people exist only as illegal migrants, whose jobs and livelihoods may be terminated without cause.
Living as an illegal migrant is the uncertain and often frightening reality of many women from Burma. In order to protect themselves from both physical and mental harm, migrants from Burma gather together to create strong communities . Together they try to protect themselves from losing their ethnic and cultural identity. However, since women are seen as a representation of this cultural identity, they are carefully protected and monitored by their community. Young women in particular carry certain responsibilities towards their communities. Because of this, they generally have less access than men to beneficial opportunities, such as education.
Most women feel impassioned and motivated to take part in the struggle to gain human rights for people of Burma. However, they feel that without education they are pushed back into traditional roles that do not allow them the freedom and mobility to contribute to this struggle. Young women often describe education as an opportunity to better position themselves to promote equality for people from Burma all around the world. The We women foundation supports educational resources for these young unrecognized refugee women, so that they have the chance to take part in their human rights struggle and become influential members of their communities.
Politically labeling people as illegal migrants is a root cause of human rights abuses against people who flee their home country. This is also the case for unrecognized refugee women from Burma. The Wewomen foundation acts as their advocate and sponsor with the goal of supporting an established, educated and influential community of leaders.
- Ursula Cats
- +66 053216811
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