KNWO-Loikaw holds Karenni-State Women’s Voice Conference

September 19th to 21st 2016 will be marked as important dates for Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNOW – Loikaw office).

In this date, KNWO-Loikaw will hold its Karenni State Women’s Voice conference at Kay Htoe Boo hall, Loikaw. The conference highlights the results of a community consultation carried out by KNWO-Loikaw covering Kayah State’s seven Townships.

The conference will gather around 350 delegates from the seven townships and circa 100 guests and representatives from State Government, Parliamentary, Political Parties, Ethnic Arm Organization International, local and Community based organizations in Myanmar and Thailand, respectively.

The event will throw light in women peace and security issues exposed by villagers during community consultations. Those issues include political, social, economic, security and land right and natural resources.

Khu Oo Reh, Vice Chair from Karenni National Progressive Party will share an update about Myanmar Peace process. Among the notable and well-known personalities within the circle of international and local organizations are Thin Thin Aung, Poe Nge, Nang Phyu Phyu Lin, Naw May Oo, Show Ei Ei Tun and Khu Khu Ju. They will speak about the five pillars of framework for political negotiation with gender perspective.  Thin Thin Aung, Women’s League of Burma advisor  and board member will be the conference moderator.

The opening ceremony will start at 8:30 AM where all delegates and guests will do a processional march to mark the opening of the conference. Representatives from KNWO will do the ribbon-cutting ceremony.


For details, please contact:

Mie Mie – 09254222060

Mu Ree  – 09250694803

Maw Pray Myar – 09780120325

KNWO organizes sewing training for women in need.

As part of a vocacional education program, KNWO is promoting a sewing training from August 2nd to September 22nd 2016.

The training is the first of this kind in the region. It was designed to provide craft skills for women living in Kayah state rural area. Program end goal is to give participants alternatives to generate extra income for their families. KNWO leadership expects that it can serve to help to raise local families out of poverty in the long term.

Cutting and sewing instructions on the white board. 

The selection criteria included woman IDP Women (Internal Displaced People), those women victim of Gender Based Violence (GBV), married and unemployed women and women living in rural areas. Another selection requirement is age. Participants are requested in the age range between 18 and 50 years old. The racional behind this selection is to ensure that the training opportunity is given to those individuals that need it the most. In total, 25 women are attending to Basic sewing training.

Basic sewing training is the first of a double module sewing course. Advanced sewing course is estimated to start in October and run through the month of November. These dates are under discussion with partner organizations and will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Students practicing during the class.
One of the sewing machines.

Bamboo Handcraft training


KNWO staff organized a Bamboo Handcraft Training from July 4th to July 15th 2016.

21 women from the townships of Loikaw, Mae Sae, Baw Lae Kae, Pa Soung and Shar Daw attended to the course.

Trainees were married unemployed women from 18 to 50 years old. The staff gave priority to IDP women (Internally Displaced People) and women victim of GBV (Gender Based Violence).

The course is part of vocacional education series whose goal is to give women the tools to increase their family income.

Students practing bamboo handcraft during the training.

What is next?

KNWO staff is building a network with local retailers to ensure women producers have contacts to sell their bamboo handcrafts. Goods will start to be sold in the region in the month of September 2016.

Picture frames made during the training.
Wallet made during the training.

Women Peace and Security Forum

Audience in Women Peace and Security Forum.


From August 13th to 15th 2016 Loikaw, Myanmar was stage for Women Peace and Security Forum. The workshop brought together speakers from KNWO, KYWO and BWU to cover the following topics involving women issues:

  • Social role.
  • Security for women.
  • Land and enviroment.

During Day One the group discussed Social aspects involving women in the region. Main topics covered included:

  • Only 30% of Karenni women can vote in peace process political referendums.
  • Why women are not included in political peace discussions and how to make sure they are part of these forums.
  • Picture of violence against women in Karenni state.

During Day Two the main topics were:

  • Current participation of women in the state economy.
  • What are the challenges for women to take part in the state economy.
  • Environment and land: How to overcome the issue that women from some ethinic groups are not allowed to receive land from their parents.

In Day Three all groups came together to summarize main learnings from Day 1 and Day 2. Discussion focused in the following topics:

  • How can we include women in the Peace Process discussion.
  • How can we solve Gender Based Violence in the states and what are the next steps to make it happen.
  • How to ensure women have equal rights in the constitution.


KNWO staff and other participants discuss women’s participation in social matters such as the peace process.

This workshop portraited the union of Karenni women to create opportunities for themselves and the future generation. In addition, it brought deeper understanding about the issues that currently prevent them to benefit from safety, better education, and economic opportunities and gave insights on how to tackle them.

Sharing knowledge among different women associations is the best way to increase the movement strength and therefore and to ensure that in the future these issues will no longer exist.







Thank you for taking the time to learn about Karenni National Women’s Organization!

Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO) was established in 1993 in Nai Soi refugee camp in north-west Thailand, by Karenni women from Karenni state. Through the years, KNWO has gained recognition as a leading organization in the promotion and protection of women’s rights in Karenni state and in the refugee camps.

Our vision is for every woman and girl to make their own choices in their lives, enjoy full equal rights, and live free from violence.

Discover the background of KNWO, the inspiring women fighting for gender equality and women’s rights, and the current socio-political situation in Karenni state.