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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Women's empowerment: Food for thought

"For millennia women have dedicated themselves almost exclusively to the task of nurturing, protecting and caring for the young and the old, striving for the conditions of peace that favour life as a whole. To this can be added the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, no war was ever started by women. But it is women and children who have always suffered most in situations of conflict.

Now that we are gaining control of the primary historical role imposed on us of sustaining life in the context of the home and family, it is time to apply in the arena of the world the wisdom and experience thus gained in activities of peace over so many thousands of years. The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all."
—Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (from keynote address to NGO Forum on Women, Beijing, 1995)

Aung San Suu Kyi has been the democratically elected leader of Burma since 1990. After the election, the ruling military regime put Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, where she remained for most of the next 16 years. In 1991, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. She continues to work for the democratization of her country.

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