Burma/Cambodia Women Roundtable

May 15, 2014
Reporters May Contact:

Margaux Bergen, Vital Voices, 202-333-1928
MargauxBergen@vitalvoices.org

Sovathana Neang, +855 92 66 30 62
freelance.nana@gmail.com

Vital Voices Global Partnership, Open Society Foundations, and Strey Khmer of
Cambodia Partner to Create a National Network of Burmese Women Civil Society
Leaders

May 15, 2014 [Phnom Penh, Cambodia] Vital Voices Global Partnership announced today it
was partnering with the Open Society Foundations and Cambodia’s Strey Khmer to develop
a network of support as Burma opens up and civil society is beginning to flourish. In
making the announcement, Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global
Partnership said, “After nearly two decades of working with women political and civil
society leaders around the globe, we see the enormous potential in the women in
Burma. As the country begins to open up and grow politically and economically, these
women can tap into a newly formed network in the region that will allow them to apply
best practices and play a leadership role in their country’s future.”

Starting today in Phnom Penh, Burmese women and Cambodian women leaders will come
together for a workshop designed to initiate a national network of Burmese civil society
and political leaders poised to accelerate change in Burma. Over the next three days, the
Cambodian women leaders of Strey Khmer will conduct trainings on advocacy, leadership,
advocacy, coalition building and media engagement, and through mentoring and dialogue,
will support the rising generation of leaders throughout Burma. The lead facilitator for the
workshop, The Women’s Civil Society Leadership Dialogue, is Mu Sochua, a Member of
Parliament in the Royal Government of Cambodia and advisor to Strey Khmer, a key
partner for the project.

“Politics will serve women when women are fully engaged with an agenda for change,” said
Mu Sochua, who has been at the forefront of Cambodia’s efforts for democratic reform, free
elections and human rights for nearly two decades. Mu Sochua has joined Aung San Suu
Kyi in calling for a need to ensure women’s leadership in political and public life as Burma

begins to take steps towards democratic reform. The Women’s Civil Society Leadership
Dialogue is a result of this call to action. Added Alyse Nelson, “Like Aung San Suu Kyi, Vital
Voices firmly believes that women’s participation in civil society and politics is the
cornerstone of democratic growth.”

Amongst the program participants are human rights campaigners, education and youth
activists, and other public leaders who are helping to transform Burma and who are
committed to empowering women and girls.

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