Newly Merged Mon Party Seeks More Female Members
The Mon Unity Party says it hopes to triple the percentage of women in its ranks ahead of next year’s elections.
By NETWORK MEDIA GROUP
Sunday, July 28, 2019
The Mon Unity Party (MUP), which was formed earlier this year through a merger of two ethnic Mon political parties, wants to increase the number of women within its ranks, according to one of its leading members.
Women comprise only 10 percent of the party’s members at present, but that will change if its current campaign to expand and diversify its membership is successful, according to Nai Layi Tama, the MUP’s joint secretary.
“The participation is still low at both the central-committee and the youth level,” he said at a recent sign-board posting ceremony. “There are no restrictions on women’s participation in our party. Men, women, and youths we always keep a path open for everyone who wants to join.”
The MUP is seeking to increase in female membership to at least 30 percent, he said, but won’t draw the line there if it can attract an even higher proportion of women.
According to Nai Layi Tama, the party is also considering picking women and youth members to stand as candidates in next year’s general elections.
Mi Ngwe Lay, a Mon woman who welcomed the MUP’s message of inclusivity, said that she felt it would be difficult for the party to reach its target.
“Women often call for more female participation in politics, but then they don’t join political parties for various reasons, even when they open a path for them,” she told NMG.
These reasons are mostly social women’s family obligations often stand in the way of a more active public life.
Leaders of the MUP have been actively seeking new members ever since the party was officially permitted to register with the Union Election Commission (UEC) on July 11 as a contender in the 2020 elections.
The MUP was formed through a merger of the All Mon Region Democracy Party, the Mon National Party and other Mon groups. The UEC permitted the MUP to form as a political party on May 17.