Ja Nan Lahtaw

Ja Nan Lahtaw is an ethnic Kachin advocate for peacebuilding and stability in Myanmar. Having grown up in Myanmar, Ja Nan became passionate about involving women in governmental peace processes, and allowing their opinions to be voiced on political and social matters, as well as promoting women to be in positions of power.

Ja Nan became the Director of the Nyein Foundation, a peacebuilding organisation that was founded in 2000 by Dr. Saboi Jum. Originally a small local organisation, the foundation has flourished into an NGO that operates on an international level. For Ja Nan, this foundation is a key tool in ensuring there are conversations between the government and international community to promote peace, but also to bolster women’s standing in local society. She states, “Women need to take part in every stage [of the peace process] – not only at the key decision making level but as key players and supporters in general”.

Since becoming the Director, Ja Nan has co-lead the historic peace negotiations which resulted in a ceasefire between the government and armed groups, and additionally, was honoured by the European Union in its Schuman Awards.