An opening speech sent by Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the ceremony to mark the International Women’s Day
NAY PYI TAW March 8
I would like to extend gree-tings first with the best wishes for all guests attending today’s International Women’s Day 2023 to be physical and mental well-being with auspiciousness.
Number of women, more than a half of the global population, is a primary force in global countries and they have been marking the International Women’s Day throughout the world with the aim of emphasizing the creation of oppor-tunities of women for focusing on entitlement and capability of women.
The United Nations annually sets the themes for the women’s day and this year’s theme was set as “Digit ALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality” which means studies on impacts in gender diversity in the digital technological sector. It highlights the importance of tackling the violence based on technological gender.
Creating chances for women and vulnerable groups to have access to technology are to fulfill the requirement of women as well as help emerge the good potentials for creating knowedge and innovativeness so as to enhance gender equality. Lack of chance for women in the technological sector causes large costs. According to the UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022, setting aside the women from the digital world caused US$-1 trillion loss in GDP of lowincome countries and middle income countries within a decade. If anyone can do nothing for such a case, the loss will amount to US$-1.5 trillion in 2025.
Not to happen so, it is nece-ssary to tackle the cyber vio-lence problems. According to the survey of 51 countries, 38 percent of women themselves faced online violence. Number of women who spent longer time online during the COVID-19 period increases in suffering the online and information technological violence, according to the survey report.
However, it is necessary to consider that the chances based on advancement of digital technological help continue existence of gender inequality. As the survey mentioned that women gets lesser results in digitally gender discrimination and the gender inequality in the digital skill arena is high, I would like to urge all to take care of these points.
All countries are fulfill the needs for empowerment of women in gender equality. Although women enjoy the equal term of rights, there are many requirements in gender equality in accord with the prescribed cuture of relevant countries and traditions and customs. Everybody knows some hindrances can be seen in reform process.
The information age commenced in 1990, and rapid development of computer technology and science and technology and information technology contribute much to all sectors. Currently, rapid advancement of digital technology and wider connections help take information, socioeconomic development opportunities through digital technology, and learning knowledge for accumulation so as to contribute much to daily life of the people. In order to enable both men and women to the sustainable development goals while enjoying these technological advantages, it is necessary to arrange innovation, enhancement of technological and digital knowledge for approaching the gender affairs, accessing the technology and giving technological training.
The policy on gender affairs was mentioned in the entitlement and allinclusiveness of the pillar-1 of the Human Re-sources Development Sector, Advance Science and Tech-nology Sector in Chapter V of the Science, technology and innovative strategic plan (2022-2027) drawn by the Advanced Science and Technology Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology. Such a strategic plan was created in connection with the National Comprehensive Development Plan-NCDP.
Our country conducts the necessary human resources development courses and technological courses. If the trainees are in line with relevant criteria, it can be seen that chances are created for all trainees without gender discrimination. Attendance rate of women at the technological and computer universities accounted for 40 percent from 2016 to 2019 but 48 percent in 2020.
If women have access to technology and are digitally skillful in use of the monetary services based on digital technology, they will have the cha-nce to operate more vocational businesses. And, only when those women can do own businesses without any dependence will their socioeconomic life improve and will State economic development measures affect much.
Improvement of refreshed technologies brings advantages. On the other hand, applying technologies to exploit women with cyberbullying and intimidation as well as force to commit terror acts and crimes are still happening.
Based on the interim census population in 2019, some 86 percent of households of Myanmar possess at least one mobile phone. With regard to applying the internet, 56 percent of households of the country use internet at home, accounting for 74.7 percent in urban and 48.8 percent in rural areas. It is expected that the percentage of internet users would rise after 2019. Currently, all children starting the school age children are friendly in mobile phones.
Using mobile phones by the majority of children, youths and girls can enjoy the good result but they may face danger with lack of result in wrongly applying it. So, parents, teachers and guardians are responsible for those users not to derail from the ways of seeking general knowledge for life development through using mobile phones. So also, it is necessary to carry out sharing of knowledge through media.
If so, the correct human resources will come out for the nation so as to build a comprehensive society.
In ASEAN region, the action plan for the whole ASEAN has been schemed for protecting children including girls against exploitation and abuse on the internet.
In reviewing the international conventions for enabling the women to enjoy equal term of rights and overcome discrimination, the UN General Assembly held on 18 December 1979 adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women CEDAW which mentions entitlements in political, economic, social and cultural sectors, and it pledges comprehensive development of a country, and it needs to raise the participation of women shoulder to shoulder with men in all arenas as much as possible for having the prosperity and peace making process across the world.
Myanmar signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women CEDAW in 1997 and is deeply implementing the provisions of the conven-tion as it is a member of the convention. According to the interim census population in 2019, the information mentioned 46.8 percent of men and 53.2 percent of women in the 54.9 million of population in Myanmar. It mentioned that emphasizing the development of women's sector would affect improvement of the nation.
Hence, the government for-med the Myanmar National Committee for Women's Affairs and regional committees at different levels, especially implementing the improvement of women's life in enhancement of socioconomic life of girls, gender equality in all sector and wider realization of the women's sector. In so doing, the national strategic plan for women development (2013-2022) has been implemented for its all sectors.
As the national strategic plan came to a close in 2022. So, the steering committee and 12 work committees have been formed for drawing the new strategic plan (2023-2032). I would like to urge all to draw the comprehensively stragetic plan focusing on gender equality in all sectors, enhancement of women's capacity and narrowing the rural and urban development gap based on modern technologies and relevant work committees are to actively participate in their assignments in order to connect with the projects of relevant ministries and organizations.
I would like to express my acknowledgement for taking pride in capacity of women who shoulder with men in political, economic and social processes to protect and develop the interests of families, society, country and nationality along the history of Myanmar.
It is necessary to draw new policies, procedures and laws which need to overcome hindrances and challenges the women and girls traditionally face. Meanwhile, needs to effectively protect the women and girls under the existing laws should be amended in conformity with current situations.
In conclusion, I would like to say that today is the knowledge age and the well versed human resources play a crucial role for development of a country. Hence, the women accounting for more than a half of country population are a powerful force in building the Union based on democracy and federalism and they are very valuable and powerful human resources.
As the majority of women are mother of offspring as well as early teachers of students, they play a key role in nurturing the youths for the future of nation.
I would like to urge all to collaboratively participate in applying the capacity of women and girls as valuable human resources in all sectors with narrowing the urban and rural development gap and creating chances for women keeping
abreast of men to have a sus-tainable developed future in line with the motto: Digit All: Innovation and technology for gender equality set as the theme of this year’s Interna-tional Women’s Day.
Thank you all.