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Community Contribution

Mapping Women Contributing to Peace in Myanmar for Networking and Collaboration

Fatima Verzosa, Linnea Beatty, and Nora Pinzon

This case describes a CLA approach that sought to disprove an often-cited claim by men in the peace process in Myanmar that "there are no qualified women to invite to discussions on peace." Hence, the USAID/OTI team embarked on a highly collaborative project that sought to identify women contributing to peace in Myanmar. This resulted in the creation of the Women Contributing to Peace in Myanmar Maps with 677 women peace-builders in 383 organizations, including 146 women who self-identified themselves as participants to the Union Peace Conference, a critical peace-making event participated in by all parties to the ethnic conflicts. This CLA initiative found qualified women in Myanmar's 14 States and Regions, participating in peace building activities from diverse ethnic groups.

Creating the Women Contributing to Peace Maps took over a year and was supported by a grant from the USAID Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Incentive Fund. It involved several CLA activities. While it is still too early to determine the potential impact of these maps, an evaluation of this activity showed that the maps provided a practical and easy way to enable linkages and networking; the lone female member of the Joint Monitoring Committee for the Ceasefire expressed optimism that the maps would encourage more women to work on peace; women from political parties stated they intended to use the maps in their election campaigns to identify allies for their interventions in communities; recipients – both male and female – repeatedly discussed plans to use the maps as an advocacy tool to increase women’s visibility during in their own events at the township and state levels, and to advocate for including women in the maps in key activities.

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