Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation was formed on the 20th December 2003. Its mission is to promote the welfare and advancement of women in Myanmar with the aim to enable them to participate fully in the national development. It is a voluntary non- governmental organization for the advancement of women in Myanmar, women of all national races in all walks of life.
In 1995, a Myanmar delegation attended the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, with a view to advocate the advancement of Myanmar women.
As a fulfillment to the commitment made in Beijing, the government established a national machinery, the Myanmar National Committee for Women’s Affairs (MNCWA) on 3rd July 1996 for systematic implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action for the advancement of women. The committee is chaired by a cabinet minister, the Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.
Working Committees for Women’s Affairs at the Central level and at the State/ Division, District, Township, Ward, Village Tract levels were subsequently formed to carry out activities in (12)critical areas of concern identified by the Fourth World Conference on Women.
From 1996 to 2003, the working committees of MNCWA have implemented activities in areas such as education, health, culture, economy, violence against women, environment, and media, international relations, legal aspects, the girl- child and trafficking in persons.
But, over the period of seven years, the coverage was found to be not satisfactory. The reason was, in part, the National Machinery being a committee, implementation activities were restricted only to committee members. Consequently, effective coverage over the population of women in Myanmar, which is more than half- fold of the country’s population, was limited.
Thus, to have a broad effective coverage span and to enhance co-ordination and linkages with the national and international NGOs, the Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation (MWAF), as an NGO, was ultimately formed.