It has been nearly 2 years since Myanmar’s junta began their violent attempt to overthrow the country’s fledgling democracy. Even though their atrocious war crimes have accelerated, the people, especially young women, persist in their resistance.
What is MOST remarkable about their Civil Disobedience Movement is the sheer strength and resilience of women’s activism, particularly women within ethnic communities, who for decades have fought for equality, human rights and to overcome the misogynist military.
November 25th marked the first of the 16 Days for Activism Against Gender-based Violence. Myanmar signed the UN Charter defines violence against women, in 1997, agreeing to respect the UN’s resolutions. However, Myanmar’s junta only signed it to gain more international recognition.
In reality, the discrimination against women throughout the country has NOT disappeared. Arrests, rapes, detentions, and killings of women continue to escalate. During the 21 months of the military coup, more than 370 women have been killed, 3385 arrested and 127 reported to have been sexually assaulted. Yet, young women comprise 60% of the country’s disobedience movement.
Who will help these women and children? The world continues to watch. The United Nations, United States, and United Kingdom commiserate and enact financial sanctions. At the same time, India, Russia, and China provide weapons and funding to the military.
How long can the Burmese people maintain their hope for democracy and equal human rights?
I watched as Myanmar gradually opened up to the world in 2011. Prior to this, the world knew little about Myanmar, and the Burmese people literally knew nothing about the outside world. Now, watching this country I love close once again is heartbreaking.
Please keep Myanmar’s story active. Help the women and girl’s voices to be heard, as they risk their lives each day for freedom.
Educational Empowerment is a member of Girls’ Globe. View all our posts on girlsglobe.org here.