Angelina Jolie urges female role in Myanmar election, peace process

United Nations refugee agency special envoy Angelina Jolie urged women and young people to be involved in the electoral process during a visit to a voter education project in Yangon last week.

During the visit to the She Leads voter education program on July 31, the Oscar-award winning actress spoke of the importance of its work in encouraging communities to check voter lists, the British embassy said in a statement.

“I urge everyone, women and young people in particular, to check the voter list on behalf of your parents and families,” Ms Jolie told participants in the She Leads program, one of the voter education activities supported by the British government.

At a meeting with families displaced by conflict in the Kachin State capital, Myitkyina, the previous day, she said women and girls “need to have a meaningful and active” role in the peace process.

“With ceasefire talks and the upcoming elections, it’s essential that all of Myanmar’s people, including those displaced, can be engaged in decisions that affect their future,” a UN statement quoted her as saying.

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The special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees stressed the importance of human access for displaced families in Kachin.

“No local or international humanitarian actors have been able to access this conflict area since clashes started in late June,” the UN statement said.

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