Mon Women Network Wants Women to Vote

By Network Media Group
Monday, October 12, 2020

The Mon Women Network launched a campaign to encourage women to cast their vote when polling for the 2020 general election opens on the November 8 election date.

According to a report on the 2015 election, only half of eligible voters participated, and of those who did not, many were women.

“We’re worried women won’t vote in the election. And we need women’s voices in Parliament. Women therefore need to vote. Voting is the duty of citizenship and why we urge more participation during this election,” Mi Cherry Soe, from Mon Women Network, told NMG.

Some political parties and electoral candidates are concerned about low turnouts on election day because of the pandemic.

Nai San Tin, spokesperson for Mon Unity Party (MUP), told NMG that with many struggling for their daily survival amid lockdowns, “people are not interested in the election…Even if they are interested in the election, I am not sure whether they are going to vote at polling stations.”

The MUP spokesperson wasn’t sure there will be enough stations to ensure citizens can follow the social distancing regulations. “I don’t know whether (election) officials will prepare for people’s safety in the polling stations. I think people are afraid of COVID-19. And, in my opinion, some won’t bother voting, and this will have consequences for election results.”

With many parties and candidates prevented from campaigning due to the lockdown measures, they fear losing votes.

In Mon State, there are 302 electoral candidates from 17 political parties and independently contesting the race. There are over 1.8M eligible voters in the state, according to the Mon State Election Commission.