Introducing Mary Tawm, Kachin Activist – “Emerging Women of Burma”

Mary Tawm an Earth Rights International alumni, founded Life Vision Foundation (LVF) to organize training and publish research on environmental and human rights issues in Kachin state. LVF has worked on projects educating communities on water sanitation, community forestry and has conducted extensive documentation, reporting, and advocacy on the impacts of gold-mining by Chinese and domestic companies. She also acts as spokesperson for Kachin people, discussing human rights abuses and the plight of IDPs and refugees in local and international media.

Her organization holds awareness raising training events and exchange meetings.  Here is an excerpt from the interview with Mary where she shares a little bit about why her organization created these exchange meetings.

“In 2013, we did an exchange visit on the topic of women and the environment. A married woman is busy 24 hours if she stays at home, married women don’t have time to learn about environmental issues. However, men have time to sit in a tea shop and listen to the radio and so they might have some knowledge about environmental matters. In reality, married women are the ones who can best protect the environment; however, it is really difficult for them to get the knowledge. So we started an exchange by inviting women from different villages to discuss about how to protect the environment for our next generation while chit-chatting. We conduct training for community development, where there are many benefits for people. For example, people who live in the areas where the gas pipe line passes through were not getting any compensation for their land being taken. We collected the voices from those people and shared the information with relevant organizations and the media.”

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