Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar lived under a tight military fist for 50 years. Similar to North Korea, Myanmar’s people had no communication with the outside world. And the world did not know about them.
In 2010 Aung San Suu Kyi, the people’s hope, was released from house arrest. She led a movement to change the constitution and allow democracy to rise. Simultaneously, the military dictatorship opened the country for its own economic gain.
The first democratic elections were conducted in 2015. The National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory.
Over the next six years, girls’ opportunities for education, communication with the outside world, and improved rights soared. Extreme poverty, gender-based violence, and ethnic persecution were still prevalent. But there was hope.
In the dark of night on February 1, 2021, the military junta again tightened its fist.
They imprisoned the President, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other high ranking democratic officials. The internet was shut down. The country returned to blackout.
However, the people had tasted freedom. They refused to lose it again. Over the past decade youth had joined global activism networks, and learned how to launch large-scale, resilient mobilizations in this digital age. The country-wide Civil Disobedience Movement, a peaceful resistance, was born and continues to this day. Ethnic states with armies skilled in protecting their people, are beginning to collaborate with each other for a unified resistance.
In May 2021, the NLD was replaced by the National Unity Government (NUG). The NUG and its spokesperson Dr. Sasa are actively lobbying global leaders to be recognized as Myanmar’s official governing entity. Although no countries, including the United Nations and the U.S. have yet to agree, multiple countries have instituted severe sanctions against the junta.
February marks the one-year anniversary of the coup. The cracks in the military junta are showing. In addition to heavy casualties, the regime is struggling to maintain recruits. The Myanmar Army has less support now than ever as an unstoppable Spring Revolution topples the regime’s incessant claims for legitimacy.
BREAKING NEWS: Total Energies and Chevron ending operations in Myanmar.
Two of the world’s largest energy companies, Total Energies and Chevron, announced January 21, 2022 they were stopping all operations in Myanmar, citing rampant human rights abuses and deteriorating rule of law since the country’s military overthrew the elected government.
Half ($1.5 billion) of the military’s foreign currency is derived from natural gas revenues. Global human rights activists applaud this decision.
The junta’s unrelenting violence is taking a toll with thousands of civilian deaths, bombings, imprisonments, and displacements.
Those not actively protesting or fighting are laden with survivor’s guilt. Meanwhile, Covid runs rampant throughout the country. The military obstructs access to medical care and vaccinations. Yet, spirits are not broken and the people continue to persevere.
Do you want to help the women and girls of Myanmar?
Many people do not know of Myanmar. Share this news with them! Share it with your elected officials and encourage them to recognize Myanmar’s National Unity Government as the legitimate governing body.
The humanitarian crisis in Myanmar is severe. Educational Empowerment is still able to transfer funds into the country, albeit through a backdoor mechanism. If you would like to support women and girls on the front lines of resistance with food, medical supplies, blankets, phones, etc., please consider one of the following organizations. All are able to deliver items into the hands of the people.
Educational Empowerment was created by women and for women and girls. EE promotes literacy and education for children, families, and communities severely affected by poverty and injustice in Myanmar. By empowering women and girls through education, we position them to attain their equal rights.