The government of Myanmar will seek to defend a package of four controversial “protection of race and religion” laws at a key UN meeting on discrimination against women in Myanmar, being held in Geneva tomorrow, 8th July.
The legislation, which includes measures giving authorities the right to restrict how often women are allowed to give birth, has drawn local and international condemnation for oppressing women’s rights and deliberately discriminating against Myanmar’s Muslim population.
It was introduced last year under the previous, military-backed government, following pressure from hardline nationalist, Buddhist monks, and despite widespread objections from women’s rights groups, some members of which reported receiving death threats from extremists for their opposition to the laws.
A panel of global experts in Geneva will convene tomorrow to question a delegation of government representatives on whether the laws breach the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW), to which Myanmar became party in 1997.
Myanmar’s new government has submitted a written statement to the UN’s CEDAW committee, denying that the laws go against the convention.
The legislation has been condemned by human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as being an attempt to curtail religious conversion and prevent Buddhist women from marrying outside their faith.
Fears have also been raised that the law related to birth-spacing could be used to enforce population control measures against the largely stateless Rohingya Muslim population in Rakhine State, who already face legal attempts to suppress their birth rates.
- Pray for the government of Myanmar, as it meets with the UN tomorrow regarding this legislation. Pray for an openness to discussing the legality of these laws, and for a willingness to repeal laws that go against the basic rights of Women, and also of religious freedom in their country.
- Pray for Myanmar, as it continues to seek ways to move forward with a new government and new form of government.
- Pray for Myanmar Christians, who face growing oppression and restrictions on freedom of worship. Pray for a strong, united Church, whose witness will be a light in this nation.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to move over Myanmar, to turn many hearts to the truth of the Gospel and bring transformation to families and communities in this land.
Ezra 8 vs 23: “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.”
Source: http://www.mmtimes.com, http://www.persecution.org