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Women
See also Discrimination Against Women in the Human Rights section and search for "women" in OBL.

  • Articles, reports, workshops etc. about women of Burma

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women of Burma - March 2nd, 2010
    Description/subject: The Tribunal is a women-directed and women-centered justice and advocacy initiative. Judges will hear testimony from several women of Burma who will share their personal stories of surviving human rights violations and crimes under miliatry rule in Burma. Their voices, and the findings and recommendations of the judges, will be directed to the Burmese regime and the international community. The Tribunal will provide a powerful spotlight on the oppression of women of Burma in order to support the development of a just and peaceful Burma. Some of the testimonials below contain graphic information which can be disturbing. Please join us in demanding that such painful experiences are responded to with justice and solidarity.
    Language: English,
    Source/publisher: Nobel Women's Initiative
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


    Title: Search results of Women on the website of the Burma Project, Open Society Institute
    Description/subject: Search the site for Women
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Burma Project, Open Society Institute
    Alternate URLs: http://www.soros.org/search/results?SearchableText=women&go-btn.x=0&go-btn.y=0&quicksea...
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Women and Child Rights Project
    Description/subject: Assessment for Project Implementation: The military regime, SPDC, ratified the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1997, and agreed to guarantee women’s rights in Burma. Similarly, the regime also ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991 and agreed to guarantee child rights in Burma..... Objectives: * To monitor the woman and child rights situation in Mon areas and southern part of Burma, by collecting information about their real situation in the reference to the CEDAW and CRC. * To empower and educate women and children in the Mon community, by providing information on their rights accordingly to CEDAW and CRC and encourage them to participate in the struggle in protection of their own rights.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: WCRP/HURFOM
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


    Title: Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP)
    Description/subject: Contains reports, articles and the quarterly "The Plight of Women and Children in Burma" which is mainly about women in Mon State...Replaced by "Voice Up"?
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP)
    Format/size: pdf
    Date of entry/update: 19 May 2007


    Title: WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY RESOURCES : BURMA (MYANMAR)
    Description/subject: List with links to documents on women and Burma, not all of which are yet entered into OBL
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009


    Individual Documents

    Title: Pushed to the Brink - Conflict and human trafficking on the Kachin-China border
    Date of publication: 05 June 2013
    Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The Burmese government’s renewed war against the Kachin has exponentially increased the risk of human trafficking along the China-Burma border. New documentation by KWAT indicates that large-scale displacement, lack of refugee protection and shortages of humanitarian aid have become significant new push factors fuelling the trafficking problem. Burma Army offensives against the Kachin Independence Army since June 2011 and widespread human rights abuses have driven over 100,000 villagers from their homes, mainly in eastern Kachin State. The majority of these refugees have fled to crowded IDP camps along the China border, which receive virtually no international aid. Desperate to earn an income, but with little or no legal option to pursue migrant work in China, many cross the border illegally. Their lack of legal status renders them extremely vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers, who use well-trodden routes to transport and sell people into bonded labor or forced marriage as far as eastern provinces of China. Although ongoing attacks and massive social upheaval since the start of the conflict have hampered systematic data collection, KWAT has documented 24 trafficking cases from Kachin border areas since June 2011, mostly involving young women and girls displaced by the war, who have been tricked, drugged, raped, and sold to Chinese men or families as brides or bonded laborers. The sale of women and children is a lucrative source of income for traffickers, who can make as much as 40,000 Yuan (approximately $6,500 USD) per person. While some manage to escape, and may be assisted by Chinese authorities in returning home, others disappear without a trace. Kachin authorities and community-based groups have played a key role in providing help with trafficking cases, and assisting women to be reunited with their families. No trafficked women or their families sought help from Burmese authorities. The Burmese government lists an anti-trafficking border liaison office at Loije on the Kachin-China border, but it is unknown to the community and thought to be non-functional. Far from seeking to provide protection to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and mitigate trafficking risks, the Burmese government has continued to fuel the war, block humanitarian aid to IDPs in Kachin controlled areas, and even attack and destroy IDP camps, driving refugees into China. It has also closed some of the immigration offices on the Kachin-China border which could provide border passes for refugees to legally seek work in China. It is thus ironic that in 2012, Burma was recognized in the U.S. State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons Report as increasing its efforts in combating human trafficking, resulting in a rise from its bottomlevel ranking for the first time in the history of the report, and a corresponding increase in financial support to Burma’s quasi-civilian government. It is urgently needed to address the structural problems that have led to mass migration and trafficking in the past and also spurred the recent conflict. The Burmese military’s gross mismanagement of resource revenues from Kachin State over the past few decades, and ongoing land confiscation, forced relocation, and human rights abuses, have pushed countless Kachin civilians across the Chinese border in search of peace and the fulfillment of basic needs. These problems led to the breakdown of the 17-year ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the military-dominated government in 2011. Refusing to engage in dialogue to address Kachin demands for equality and equitable development, the government launched attacks to seize total control over the wealth of resources in Kachin State. Resolving the current conflict via genuine political dialogue would not only be a step towards peace, but also a concrete move towards curbing human trafficking from Kachin areas. Launching a range of reforms dealing with the political and economic factors driving people beyond Burma’s borders is critical to addressing trafficking. Therefore, KWAT recommends the following:..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
    Format/size: pdf (1.1MB-OBL version; 1.37MB-original...Press release: Chinese, 90K; Burmese, 40K; English, html)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.kachinwomen.com
    http://www.kachinwomen.com/images/stories/pressrelease/pushed_chinese.pdf
    http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/KWAT-pushed_to_the_brink-PR-bu-ocr.pdf
    http://www.kachinwomen.com/advocacy/press-release.html
    http://www.kachinwomen.com/images/stories/publication/pushed_to_the_brink.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013


    Title: Myanmar’s current peace processes : a new role for women?
    Date of publication: December 2012
    Description/subject: Introduction: "Myanmar has experienced one of the most complex and long lasting armed conflicts in the world. Since 1948, successive military governments have come to power under the guise of managing diverse ethnic armed groups with demands for self-determination and the granting of equal rights to ethnic nationalities. While a lack of democracy has often been seen as Myanmar’s main challenge, in fact the most influential factor in the country’s ethnic conflict is the militarisation of the government. On the one hand the newly elected government is pushing democratic reforms, and on the other, the emergence of a sustainable and just state of peace remains an issue of concern, especially among the general population. The inclusion of women in the peace processes in Myanmar is minimal but awareness among women in civil society of the importance of inclusion is high. This Opinion Piece will endeavor to assess the roles of women and their contributions in the current complex dynamics in Myanmar, and suggest ways in which they could be developed in the interests of a just, sustainable peace in the country." ....Conclusion: "Despite cultural perceptions and the male-dominated political setting which places constraints on acknowledging women’s leadership, the changing political context is an open door to expand the participation of women in peace processes. One should acknowledge that the awareness-raising on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment programmes, which has been supported by international organisations, is contributing towards women’s ability to expand their participation in the public domain. In addition, the commitment to support Myanmar’s peace processes and the influence from the international community encourage the leaders of all parties involved in current peace processes to reflect on the inclusion of women. Though there is some will and interest from male political leaders to include women in peace processes, it does not come automatically. The peace door is not locked for women but a strong and collective effort is still needed to open the door for women’s participation in the peace processes in Myanmar."
    Author/creator: Ja Nan Lahtaw & Nang Raw
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Centre for Humanitaian Dialogue (The HD Centre)
    Format/size: pdf (225K-OBL version; 435K-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.hdcentre.org/files/Myanmar%20FINAL.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 01 January 2013


    Title: Here, We Are Walking on a Clothesline: Statelessness and Human (In)Security Among Burmese Women Political Exiles Living in Thailand
    Date of publication: 2012
    Description/subject: Abstract: "An estimated twelve million people worldwide are stateless, or living without the legal bond of citizenship or nationality with any state, and consequently face barriers to employment, property ownership, education, health care, customary legal rights, and national and international protection. More than one-quarter of the world’s stateless people live in Thailand. This feminist ethnography explores the impact of statelessness on the everyday lives of Burmese women political exiles living in Thailand through the paradigm of human security and its six indicators: food, economic, personal, political, health, and community security. The research reveals that exclusion from national and international legal protections creates pervasive and profound political and personal insecurity due to violence and harassment from state and non-state actors. Strong networks, however, between exiled activists and their organizations provide community security, through which stateless women may access various levels of food, economic, and health security. Using the human security paradigm as a metric, this research identifies acute barriers to Burmese stateless women exiles’ experiences and expectations of well-being, therefore illustrating the potential of human security as a measurement by which conflict resolution scholars and practitioners may describe and evaluate their work in the context of positive peace."
    Author/creator: Elizabeth Hooker
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Portland University (MS thesis)
    Format/size: pdf (588K)
    Alternate URLs: http://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/open_access_etds?utm_source=pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu%2Fopen_acc...
    Date of entry/update: 28 October 2013


    Title: BURMA~ WOMEN’S VOICES FOR PEACE "မြန်မာနိုင်ငံငြိမ်း ချမ်းရေးအတွက် အမျိုးသမီးများ၏ အသံများ"
    Date of publication: 10 June 2010
    Description/subject: CONTENTS: MAP OF BURMA; FOREWORD Debbie Stothard; INTRODUCTION Janie Conway-Herron; HOPE FOR THE FUTURE Pan Yein Nge; A JOURNEY FOR CHANGE Kham Lay; WAR Mi Nyo; RUNNING TO SURVIVE Preh Mo; AYESHA The Arakan Project; MY EXPERIENCE OF A DIFFICULT LIFE Nay Chi; UNFORGETTABLE LIFE Shar; QUALITY AND STANDARD A Phoo; FORCED TO CHOOSE Laminlay; MY MOTHERLAND AND ME Kay Zin Lin; WAITING TO ESCAPE THE “GOD OF THE HOUSEHOLD” Lway Shwe Kyae; THE DESERTED DINNER TABLE Kon Chan Gakao; THE RAINY SEASONS THAT PASSED Saung; THE LIFE OF KYAT TU RWAY Kyat Tu Rway; FUTURE RAY OF HOPE Yu Ka Lit; MY SUCCESS The Arakan Project; RESILIENCE Nay Jar Yine; SILENT TEARS, BLEEDING HEART Lack Son Pop Htaw; FROM LADY TO ACTIVIST Yaung Pyan; FOLLOWING MY MOTHER'S FOOTSTEPS Rakhaing Thu; DIARY OF A SUPPORTIVE WIFE Khayay Phyu; BROKEN BOWL Lae Lae; A PLACE CALLED “BURMA” Han Thu Lwin; PEACE IN BURMA Parrot; THE DISPERSION OF A PEOPLE Sayblumoo; LIFE = CREDIT + DEBT Ki Ki; RAISING THE DRAGON'S HEAD Ki Ki; WOMEN'S HOPE Soe Meh "မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ ငြိမ်းချမ်းရေးအတွက်အမျိုးသမီးများအသံ" စာအုပ်ဟာသနပ်ခါးအဖွဲ့ရဲ့ (၇) ကြိမ်မြောက်စုစည်းမှုဖြစ်ပြီး မြန်မာနိုင်ငံက အမျိုးသမီးတွေကနေ ရေးသားထားတဲ့ စာအုပ်ဖြစ်ပါတယ်။ "
    Language: English, Burmese
    Source/publisher: Thanakha Team (ed)
    Format/size: pdf (682 - English; 1.2MB - Burmese)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/Womens_Voices_For_Peace(bu)-red.pdf
    http://www.altsean.org/Docs/PDF%20Format/Womens%20Voices/Womens%20Voices%20For%20Peace%20-%20Englis...
    http://www.altsean.org/Docs/PDF%20Format/Womens%20Voices/Womens%20Voices%20For%20Peace%20-%20Burmes...
    Date of entry/update: 27 October 2010


    Title: Feminine Frolics
    Date of publication: February 2010
    Description/subject: Political satire was not the only item on the program of a stage performance in Chiang Mai by the Cho Lin Pyar troupe and members of the Burmese Women’s Union (BWU). One sketch that wowed a large audience at a Chiang Mai hotel hit home with a dig at the reputedly talkative nature of women... "In an encounter between a king and one of his ministers, the monarch is told that women are demanding a 30 percent participation in decision making. Thwe Zin Toe (second left) and her colleagues from Burmese Women’s Union entertain an audience at the Grand View hotel in Chiang Mai. (Photo: The Irrawaddy) “Why 30 percent?” asks the king. “Because they have big mouths,” the minister replies—referring to the popular (male) prejudice that women are naturally loquacious. The sketch also earned enthusiastic applause because the roles of the king and his minister were taken by two women—Thwe Zin Toe and Zin Mar Phyo..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 2
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17709
    Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


    Title: Do dreams come true? ‘Illegal’ young female Shan refugees in Northern Thailand: coping with contradicting (in)securities.
    Date of publication: June 2009
    Description/subject: "...This thesis consists out of seven chapters. The next chapter on theory will address important political and theoretical debates within the arena of displacement and refugee studies. Chapter three will present the methodological approach taken within the research. Chapters four and five are the data chapters of this thesis addressing various layers of insecurities through thematic chapters. The chapters are based on the most important themes that arose during fieldwork. How young Shan women first reacted to state terror, and the impact of this on their daily lives, is highlighted in chapter four. Chapter five will explain what it means to be a young Shan female, revealing the daily life practices and the influences they have on life chances and future aspirations. Finally, I shall conclude by referring to the debates discussed within the theory chapter. The key words of this research are displacement, young female Shan refugees, future aspirations and human (in)security..."
    Author/creator: Ursula Cats
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Masters Thesis - Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Format/size: pdf (4.9 - original version; 2.4 - OBL version)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/MASTER-THESIS-Final-version1-red.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 15 September 2010


    Title: Eastward Bound
    Date of publication: 05 August 2008
    Description/subject: Summary of key findings: The report documents 133 verified and suspected trafficking cases, involving 163 women and girls, which occurred between 2004 and mid-2007 . As political and economic conditions inside Burma continue to deteriorate, more and more Kachin women are migrating to China in search of work, and are ending up as forced brides of Chinese men. . Most of the forced brides were transported across China to marry men in the eastern provinces, particularly Shandong Province. Women described being shown to many men, sometimes in marketplaces, before being chosen. The husbands, predominantly farmers, paid an average of US$1,900 for their brides. . About a quarter of those trafficked were under 18, with girls as young as 14 forced to be brides. Several cases involved traffickers attempting to buy babies. . The continuing high incidence of trafficking indicates that the regime's new anti-trafficking law, passed in September 2005, is failing to have any impact in curbing the problem. Provisions in the regime's new law to protect the rights of trafficking victims are not being adhered to. Women are also being falsely accused of trafficking under the new law. . Women report that Chinese police have been helpful in assisting them to return to Burma, but have sometimes demanded compensation from Burma border officials for repatriating trafficking victims...... Growing numbers of Kachin women trafficked as brides across China Forced by deteriorating political and economic conditions in Burma to migrate to China, ethnic Kachin women are increasingly ending up as forced brides, according to a new report by an indigenous women¹s group. ³Eastward Bound² by the Kachin Women¹s Association Thailand (KWAT), documents the trafficking of 163 women and girls between 2004 and mid-2007, almost all to China. While 40% of the women have simply disappeared, most of the rest were forced to marry men in provinces across eastern China. About a quarter of those trafficked were under 18. Most of these girls, as young as 14, were sold as brides for an average of about USD 2,000, usually to farmers. The report highlights how the Burmese regime¹s new anti-trafficking law, passed in September 2005, is failing not only to curb trafficking, but also to protect the rights of trafficked women. Victims have been refused assistance by the Burmese Embassy in Beijing, denied entry back to Burma, and falsely accused of trafficking themselves. One woman accused of trafficking was raped in detention by a local official. ³Anti-trafficking laws are meaningless under a regime that systematically violates people¹s rights, and whose policies are driving citizens to migrate,² said Gum Khong, a researcher for the report. While international agencies have raised the alert about increased trafficking in Burma following Cyclone Nargis, KWAT cautions against indirectly endorsing the regime¹s heavy-handed attempts to control migration. ³International agencies must look holistically at the trafficking problem, and not be complicit in any efforts by the regime to further abuse people¹s rights under the guise of preventing trafficking² said KWAT spokesperson Shirley Seng. KWAT first exposed the trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border in their 2005 report ³Driven Away.² The new report can be viewed at http://www.womenofburma.org For hard copies of the report, please contact: kwat@loxinfo.co.th For further information contact: Gum Khong +66 84 616 5245 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +66 84 616 5245      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Shirley Seng +66 84 485 7252
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand (KWAT)
    Format/size: pdf (1.7MB, 2MB - Alt. URL))
    Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/EastwardBound.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 04 August 2008


    Title: Women in the Movement
    Date of publication: July 2008
    Description/subject: A handful of prominent female activists have made a significant mark on Burmese dissident politics, but true equality of the sexes remains elusive.
    Author/creator: Violet Cho and Aye Lae
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 7
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 15 July 2008


    Title: Caught Between Two Hells
    Date of publication: December 2007
    Description/subject: The Report Highlights the Situation of Women Migrant Workers in Thailand and China...Executive Summary: Ten BWU researchers eondueted 149 in-depth interviews with migrant women and girl workers in Chiang Mai, Mae Sot, Ranong (Thailand) and Rulli (China) between November 2006-March 2007. Women working in diverse areas of work, ethnicity and age were asked to participate in the research so that the report could represent a wide range of experiences... The research highlights the atrocious day-to-day working conditions and human rights abuses encountered by migrant women and girls working in irregular situations and provides insight into the occupational hazards and harms migrants from Burma face in Thailand and China. The interviews were designed to provide women workers with a much-needed opportunity to speak their mind and assert their own "voice" regarding their work, a power that was often denied in their host countries... The research has showed that: . Migrant women and girl workers from Burma have very limited work opportunities in their host countries due to their irregular status and are often relegated to working in so-called 3Ds jobs (dirty, dangerous and demeaning) with little or no labor rights. . Migrant women and girl workers are doubly marginalized and highly vulnerable to abuses of their human rights due to both their lack of legal status and their gender. Security concerns for migrant women and girl workers are grave as they regularly experience threats of sexual harassment and violence while working in host countries... The BWU strongly urges the SPDC and governments of the host countries to consider migrant workers' needs and basic human rights. BWU insists that international human rights law be upheld and states work to protect migrants working in irregular settings, by protecting their human and labour rights, and by providing channels for redress when they are abused.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Burmese Women's Union
    Format/size: pdf (2.74MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs4/Caught_between_two_hells.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 05 January 2008


    Title: Courage to Resist - Women Human Rights Defenders of Burma
    Date of publication: November 2007
    Description/subject: "...these women human rights defenders have been subjected to the following abuses, in violation of their fundamental human rights as guaranteed under the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the Declaration of Human Rights Defenders, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: *Attacks on life, bodily and mental integrity – including torture; ‘hostage-taking’; sexual assault such as tearing their clothes and sarongs; excessive use of force in crackdowns on the demonstrations and the subsequent arrests; * Physical and psychological deprivation of liberty – such as arbitrary arrests and detention, forcing many of them to go into hiding for their safety; * Attacks against personhood and reputations – which include verbal abuse; slander, labelling them as ‘terrorists’; smear campaigns through the media; sexuality-baiting, which is the manipulative use of negative ideas about sexuality to intimidate, humiliate or embarrass women, with the intention of inhibiting or destroying their political agendas. * Invasion of privacy and violations involving personal relationships such as arrest, detention and intimidation of family members, endangering pregnant women and separating breastfeeding mothers from their babies; * Violations of women’s freedom of expression, association and assembly; * Non-recognition of violations and impunity...."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women's League of Burma
    Format/size: pdf (437K)
    Date of entry/update: 23 November 2007


    Title: Myanmar - Von der Kolonie zum Armenhaus
    Date of publication: 07 September 2007
    Description/subject: Die knapp 60 Jahre mit ständigem Wechsel von bewaffneten Konflikten, BürgerInnenkriegen und "sozialistischer" Militärdiktatur sind der Grund für die heutige Lage eines der ärmsten Länder der Welt. Der Artikel schildert die ethnischen KOnflikte, den Terror des Militärs und die Lage der Menschenrechte in Myanmar; Ethnic minorities; terror; human rights; education; Karen;
    Author/creator: Sebastian Nagel
    Language: German, Deutsch
    Source/publisher: Grüne Jugend
    Format/size: Html (47kb)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.gruene-jugend.de/show/382223.html
    Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


    Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2006 - Chapter 7: Rights of Women
    Date of publication: July 2007
    Description/subject: 7.1 Introduction...7.2 Women in Politics...7.3 Health of Women from Burma...7.4 Women and Forced Labour...7.5 Trafficking and Prostitution...7.6 Violence against Women...7.7 Forced Marriage...7.8 Detention in Lieu of Men...
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
    Format/size: pdf, html
    Alternate URLs: http://burmalibrary.org/docs4/HRDU2006-CD/women.html
    Date of entry/update: 07 August 2008


    Title: Unsafe State - State-sanctioned sexual violence against Chin women in Burma
    Date of publication: 27 March 2007
    Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "This report by the Women's League of Chinland is the first to provide detailed evidence of the systematic sexual violence being committed by the Burma Army in the isolated mountainous region of Chin State in Western Burma. It documents 38 cases of sexual violence, the majority committed during the past five years, in locations throughout the state. Due to social stigma and fear of further violence, few survivors disclose cases of sexual abuse, so these cases undoubtedly represent only a small proportion of the actual number of incidents taking place. Cases in this report confirm patterns of state-sanctioned sexual violence detailed in earlier reports by other women's organizations from Burma, showing that under the military regime women and girls are at constant risk of being raped. The regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has been expanding its army throughout the country since 1988. Particularly in the ethnic areas, it has been building up its troop presence to subjugate resistance movements and secure control of natural resources and border trade. Whereas 20 years ago, there were only two Burma Army battalions operating in Chin State, there are now eight battalions based in the state, with army camps scattered in numerous villages and patrols constantly roaming the hills. These troops are using rape as a "weapon" to terrorize local communities. Women and girls as young as 12 are being raped in their homes and farms, while traveling outside their villages and when conscripted as forced labour by the army. There is a clear pattern of impunity for military sexual violence. In none of the cases in this report were the perpetrators prosecuted. Military authorities mostly ignored reports of sexual crimes, or actively sought to cover them up, and even threatened survivors. About half of the rapes were gang rapes, and at least a third were committed by officers, who were setting a clear example to the troops under their command that rape is acceptable. The soldiers committing rape displayed extreme brutality, sometimes torturing and murdering victims, irrespective of the presence of local witnesses. One woman was stripped naked and tied to a cross, in a savage act of mockery against the local people's Christian beliefs. Survivors of rape have been fleeing across the border to Mizoram State in northeast India, but as refugees from Burma are not officially recognized by the Indian government, they receive no protection or aid. They must struggle for daily survival and live in fear of deportation back to Burma. Survivors of rape face stigma and have no access to support-systems inside Burma. The state-dominated Myanmar Women's Affairs Federation, which women throughout Chin State have been forced to join, fails to provide assistance to any women, even rape survivors. Some survivors have been fleeing across the border to Mizoram State in northeast India, but as refugees from Burma are not officially recognized by the Indian government, they receive no protection or aid. They must struggle for daily survival and live in fear of deportation back to Burma. Economic and military support of the SPDC by neighbours such as India is directly fuelling militarization in Burma. Only genuine political change to democracy, restoration of the rule of law, and a withdrawal of Burma Army troops from ethnic areas will bring an end to the systematic sexual violence in Burma..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Women's League of Chinland (WLC)
    Format/size: pdf (770K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.chinwomen.org/images/publications/documents/UnsafeState.pdf
    http://www.chinwomen.org/publications.html
    Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010


    Title: State of Terror
    Date of publication: February 2007
    Description/subject: The ongoing rape, murder, torture and forced labour suffered by women living under the Burmese Military Regime in Karen State... Executive Summary: "This report, "State of Terror" clearly documents the range of human rights abuses that continue to be perpetrated across Karen State as part of the SPDC’s sustained campaign of terror. The report focuses in particular on the abuses experienced by women and girls and draws on over 40001 documented cases of human rights abuses perpetrated by the SPDC. These case studies provide shocking evidence of the entrenched and widespread abuses perpetrated against the civilian population of Karen State by the Burmese Military Regime. Many of the recent accounts of human rights violations which occurred in late 2005 and 2006 provide irrefutable evidence that the SPDC’s attacks during this period have increased and have deliberately targeted the civilian population. The recent dramatic increase in the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) as well as in those crossing the border in search of asylum, bears further testimony to the escalation of attacks on the civilian women, men and children of Karen State. The report builds on the findings contained in "Shattering Silences", published by the Karen Women’s Organisation in April 2004. That report detailed the alarmingly high number of women and girls who have been raped by the military during the years of the SPDC’s occupation of Karen State. This new report documents the range of other human rights abuses experienced by Karen women and girls, in particular those of forced labour and forced portering. The report locates these atrocities within a human rights framework, to show the direct link of accountability the SPDC bears for the violations committed in these cases. It also demonstrates the multiplicity of human rights violations occurring, as forced labour is often committed in conjunction with other human rights violations such as rape, beating, mutilation, torture, murder, denial of rights to food, water and shelter, and denial of the right to legal redress. These human rights abuses occur as part of a strategy designed to terrorise and subjugate the Karen people, to completely destroy their culture and communities. This report demonstrates very clearly that it is the women who bear the greatest burden of these systematic attacks, as they are doubly oppressed both on the grounds of their ethnicity and their gender. Attacks have continued in spite of the informal ceasefire agreement reached with the SPDC in January 2004. It is clear that rather than honouring the agreement, the SPDC have proceeded with systematic reinforcement of their military infrastructure across Karen State, bringing in more troops, increasing their stocks of food and ammunition and building army camps across the state. From this position of increased strength the SPDC have conducted ongoing attacks on villages across Karen State since September 2005. As this report goes to press over one year later, it is clear that rather than abating, the intensity of these attacks has only increased. Karen women and children continue to be killed and raped by SPDC soldiers, are subjected to forced labour, including portering, and are displaced from their homes. In the first half of 2006 alone KWO received reports of almost 5,000 villagers being taken as forced labourers, with over five times that many being forcibly relocated from their villages as their farms, homes and rice paddies were burned. As a consequence, increasing numbers of refugees are fleeing across the border into Thailand and many, many more are internally displaced. The world now knows the full extent of human rights violations being committed by the SPDC, particularly against women and children from the ethnic groups across Burma. The situation is past critical. The international community must take immediate action to stop these most grave atrocities."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Karen Women's Organisation (KWO)
    Format/size: pdf (1.8MB)
    Date of entry/update: 13 February 2007


    Title: Looking Through Gender Lenses - Position Paper on Gender Equality
    Date of publication: September 2006
    Description/subject: General Overview of the Paper: The Purpose: The Women’s League of Burma (WLB) would like to emphasize the necessity of positive measures in creating a constitution for Burma that protects women’s rights and promotes gender equality in Burma... The Argument: This paper argues that it is necessary not only to recognize the unequal status between women and men in Burma, but also to address that unequal status by adopting constitutional mechanisms for affirmative action to achieve gender equality. . Specifically, we call for the inclusion of a quota system in the federal constitution to ensure representation of women at every level and in all branches of the federal government... The Scope: This paper focuses on articulating the WLB’s primary arguments for: - Why women’s rights should be included in the constitution; - Why affirmative measures are necessary to achieve gender equality; - What kinds of affirmative measures are necessary to achieve gender equality.....The paper is structured in the following way: Contents Page 1. Introduction 2. Discrimination against Women in Burma 3. Why Equal Representation Must Be Guaranteed by the Constitution 4. The Need for Affirmative Action in Burma 5. The Design of a Quota System 6. Conclusion.
    Language: English, Burmese
    Source/publisher: Women’s League of Burma
    Format/size: pdf (82K - English; 124K - Burmese)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Statement&Release/genderpaper_burmese.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 05 August 2008


    Title: Human Rights Year Book Burma 2005 - Chapter 7. Rights of Women
    Date of publication: July 2006
    Description/subject: 7.1 Background... 7.2 Women in Politics... 7.3 Health of Women from Burma... 7.4 Women and Forced Labor... 7.5 Trafficking of Women... 7.6 Violence against Women.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
    Format/size: pdf (101.61 K)
    Date of entry/update: 07 August 2008


    Title: Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung Women in Burma,
    Date of publication: 09 June 2006
    Description/subject: "'Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung Women in Burma', based on interviews with eighty-eight wives and mothers of drug addicts, shows how women in Palaung areas have become increasingly vulnerable due to the rising addiction rates. Already living in dire poverty, with little access to education or health care, wives of addicts must struggle single-handedly to support as many as ten children. Addicted husbands not only stop providing for their families, but also sell off property and possessions, commit theft, and subject their wives and children to repeated verbal and physical abuse. The report details cases of women losing eight out of eleven children to disease and of daughters being trafficked by their addicted father. The increased addiction rates have resulted from the regime allowing drug lords to expand production into Palaung areas in recent years, in exchange for policing against resistance activity and sharing drug profits. The collapse of markets for tea and other crops has driven more and more farmers to turn to opium growing or to work as labourers in opium fields, where wages are frequently paid in opium. The report throws into question claims by the regime and the UNODC of a dramatic reduction of opium production in Burma during the past decade, and calls on donor countries and UN agencies supporting drug eradication programs in Burma to push for genuine political reform..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
    Format/size: pdf (632K), Word (360K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/PoisonedFlowers.pdf
    http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/PoisonedFlowers.doc
    Date of entry/update: 08 June 2006


    Title: The 'Traditional' High Status of Women in Burma: A Historical Reconsideration
    Date of publication: 2006
    Description/subject: Abstract: "This article traces the genealogy of a persistent cultural stereotype that has long defined and constituted academic and popular knowledge about Burma and, more broadly, Southeast Asia: the 'traditional' high status of women. Although Southeast Asia scholars today generally concur that claims about the high status of women in the region are oversimplified and problematic, postcolonial scholars of Burma largely have perpetuated the discourse of gender equality, which has deterred any attempt to complicate conceptualizations of gender relations and hierarchies in historical Burma. This study investigates the process whereby the 'traditional' autonomy of Burmese women was constructed in opposition to the likewise 'traditional' subordinate status of women in South Asia and in contestation of the superiority of European culture and society. It argues that this 'traditional' is a product of the multivalent representational practice by colonizing and colonized women and men in unequal relations of power who coauthored essentially and powerfully gendered discourses of colonialism, modernization, and nationalism. This article concludes by suggesting possible ways to move beyond the practice of enshrining persistent and monolithic cultural stereotypes as essential components of Southeast Asian history and to engender scholarship of the region firmly located within, not isolated from, specific and complex historical contexts."
    Author/creator: Chie Ikeya
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Journal of Burma Studies" Vol. 10, (2005/06)
    Format/size: pdf (1MB)
    Date of entry/update: 31 December 2008


    Title: Armut im Land der Goldenen Pagoden. Soziale Sicherheit, Gesundheit und Bildung in Burma; Focus Asien Nr. 26
    Date of publication: 29 December 2005
    Description/subject: In den letzten Jahren häufen sich die Meldungen über die kritische humanitäre Situation in Burma. Die sozialen Indikatoren Sterblichkeitsraten, Bildungsindikatoren, Verbreitung von typischen Armutskrankheiten wie Malaria und Tuberkulose, die alarmierende Verbreitung von HIV/AIDS - zeichnen ein düsteres Bild über den Zustand des Landes, wobei es große regionale und gesellschaftliche Unterschiede gibt. Die Broschüre gibt Einblicke in die Bereiche Gesundheits- und Bildungswesen in Burma, wobei Erfahrungen aus der praktischen Arbeit von Hilfsorganisationen dargestellt werden. Neben Vorstellungen vom Wohlfahrtsstaat werden darüber hinaus die Situation burmesischer Migrant/innen in Thailand beleuchtet, die Auswirkungen des Opiumbanns auf die Bevölkerung der Wa-Sonderregion untersucht und Chancen und Risiken humanitärer Hilfe diskutiert. Inhalt: Ulrike Bey: Armut im „Land der Goldenen Pagoden“; Marco Bünte: Dimensionen sozialer Probleme in Myanmar – Ein Überblick; Hans-Bernd Zöllner: Der Traum vom budhistischen Wohlfahrtsstaat; Tankred Stöbe: Das Gesundheitssystem in Burma/Myanmar unter Ausschluss der ethnischen Minderheiten?; Brenda Belak: Der Zugang zur medizinischen Versorgung; Johannes Achilles: Das Bildungswesen in Birma/Myanmar – Erfahrungen zum Engagement im Bildungsbereich; Ulrike Bey: Frauen in Bildung und Gesundheit; Michael Tröster: Die Wa in Gefahr. Nach dem Opiumbann droht in der Special Region eine humaitäre Katastrophe; Jackie Pollock: Die Lebensqualität von Migrant/innen in Thailand; Jasmin Lorch: Der Rückzug des UN Global Fund aus Burma; Alle Artikel dieses Bandes sind außerdem noch separat verlinkt. keywords: social security, health, education, humanitarian aid, migration, opium ban
    Author/creator: Ulrike Bey (Hrsg.)
    Language: Deutsch, German
    Source/publisher: Asienhaus
    Format/size: pdf 970k
    Date of entry/update: 20 March 2006


    Title: Frauen in Bildung und Gesundheit
    Date of publication: 29 December 2005
    Description/subject: Armutsreduzierung und die Stärkung der Position von Frauen hängen in vielerlei Hinsicht zusammen. In Burma, so heißt es im Allgemeinen, nehmen die Frauen eine angesehene und respektierte Rolle in der Gesellschaft ein. In der Kombination mit Armut, Gewalt oder kulturellen Werten werden jedoch Diskriminierungen und Ungleichheiten sichtbar. Die meisten Gesundheitsprobleme, denen sich Frauen ausgesetzt sehen, sind auf schlechte Lebensbedingungen zurückzuführen. keywords: women, health, education, prostitution, HIV/AIDS, family planning
    Author/creator: Ulrike Bey
    Language: German, Deutsch
    Source/publisher: Asienhaus Focus Asien Nr. 26, S. 37-43
    Format/size: pdf
    Date of entry/update: 20 March 2006


    Title: Working Our Way Back Home - Fertility and pregancy loss on the Thai-Burmese border
    Date of publication: December 2005
    Description/subject: Findings:- Key findings from the research show that: While unplanned pregnancy and abortion are a large problem, they can be prevented. * Post abortion care at Thai and Burmese health facilities takes large amounts of health resources. * At least a third of women with post abortion complications have self-induced abortions. * Men and women have low levels of knowledge about modern methods of contraception. * Temporary contraceptive information or methods are not offered to women during post abortion care in the Mae Sot Hospital but are offered 6 weeks after discharge. Many women are affected by unplanned pregnancies ~ * The vast majority of women are married and two thirds have children. * A third of women have five or more pregnancies, which is a health risk in itself. The way the pregnancy ends can negatively affect women's health and wellbeing ~ * Unqualified abortionists and home remedies are the only recourse women have to end an unwanted pregnancy. * Women know of and use a wide variety of methods to end their pregnancy including self-medication with multinational and Burmese medicines, drinking ginger and whisky, vigorous pelvic pummelling and insertion of objects into the sex organs. * Post abortion treatment in hospital can be expensive if a woman does not have a work permit or is not referred by Mae Tao Clinic and can leave her with debts. Women are pressured by social and political circumstances to end their pregnancies~ * Women are often pressured by employers, husbands and the fear of unemployment to end their pregnancies. * Some women report domestic violence as influencing their decision to abort. Women were attempting to limit their fertility in many different ways ~ * Most women and lay midwives classified menstrual regulation and abortion as traditional methods of fertility control. * Most women accepted a diverse range of temporary and permanent contraceptive methods from the Mae Tao Clinic staff while they were still in-patients. The nature of forced displacement and lack of human rights directly effects reproductive health ~ * Having a work permit does not necessarily offer protection to women, as there is scrutiny to ensure a woman is not pregnant when a permit is issued.  As workers without work permits can be arrested and deported by Thai police, women are reluctant to travel to any type of health service and often wait until they are very unwell.  Burmese women as non-citizens are not included in Thai death statistics at a national level so the deaths of Burmese women go unnoticed, by both Thai and Union of Myanmar authorities.
    Author/creator: Cynthia Maung, Suzanne Belton
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Mao Tao Clinic
    Format/size: pdf (2.2MB)
    Date of entry/update: 23 December 2005


    Title: Leading Ladies
    Date of publication: September 2005
    Description/subject: "Burma’s long tradition of principled and influential leadership by women carries on in the work of activists and social workers in exile The New Light of Myanmar, the Burmese junta’s main mouthpiece, recently reported on a meeting of the Myanmar [Burma] Women’s Affairs Federation to celebrate this year’s Myanmar Women’s Day. During the meeting, members of the pro-junta group denounced opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, as a destabilizing force and someone who “has done nothing good for the nation.” The meeting ended with the chanting of slogans. Such is the sad state of women’s affairs in Burma, where an internationally-renowned woman of courage and conviction languishes under house arrest, while the junta pressures others to make scripted accusations and sing political slogans. It was not always so. Throughout history, Burmese women have played active and influential roles in Burma’s national and political life..." The article goes on to profile a number of important historical and contemporary Burmese women.
    Author/creator: Shah Paung
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 9
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


    Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2004 - Chapter 7:. Rights of Women
    Date of publication: July 2005
    Description/subject: 7.1 Background...7.2 Women in Politics... 7.3 Health of Women from Burma...7.4 Women and Forced Labor...7.6 Trafficking of Women...7.7 Violence against Women...7.8 Rape and Sexual Violence - Partial list of incidents 2004...
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
    Format/size: html. pdf
    Date of entry/update: 07 August 2008


    Title: Driven Away: Trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border
    Date of publication: 15 May 2005
    Description/subject: "An alarming trend is developing in ethnic Kachin communities of Burma. Growing poverty, caused by failed state policies, is driving increasing numbers of young people to migrate in search of work. As a result, young women and girls are disappearing without trace, being sold as wives in China, and tricked into the Chinese and Burmese sex industries. Local Kachin researchers conducted interviews in Burma from May-August 2004 in order to document this trend. "Driven Away: Trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border", produced by the Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT), is based on 63 verified and suspected trafficking cases that occurred primarily during 2000-2004. The cases involve 85 women and girls, mostly between the ages of 14 and 20. Testimony comes primarily from women and girls who escaped after being trafficked, as well as relatives, persons who helped escapees, and others. About two-thirds of the women trafficked were from the townships of Myitkyina and Bhamo in Kachin State. About one third were from villages in northern Shan State. In 36 of the cases, women were specifically offered safe work opportunities and followed recruiters to border towns. Many were seeking part-time work to make enough money for school fees during the annual three-month school holiday. Others simply needed to support their families. Those not offered work were taken while looking for work, tricked, or outright abducted. Women taken to China were most often passed on to traffickers at the border to be transported farther by car, bus and/or train for journeys of up to one week in length. Traffickers used deceit, threats, and drugs to confuse and control women en route..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand (KWAT)
    Format/size: pdf (3.3MB), 2.2MB
    Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/Driven_Away.pdf (original, authoritative)
    Date of entry/update: 17 May 2005


    Title: Borders of fertility: Unwanted pregnancy and fertility management by Burmese women in Thailand
    Date of publication: May 2005
    Description/subject: Submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy...Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, School of Population Health, Key Centre for Women�s Health in Society The University of Melbourne...This thesis, describes how women who are forced to migrate from Burma into Thailand manage their fertility, unwanted pregnancy and pregnancy loss. Unsafe abortion is a common problem and much time and resources are taken with the care of women suffering haemorrhage, infection and pain after self-induced abortion in both Thai and Burmese-led health facilities. The thesis examines the characteristics of 43 Burmese women admitted to health facilities with post-abortion complications and their chosen methods of self-induced abortion. There is no commonly agreed definition of abortion between formal, informal health workers or women. Most people considered it morally proscribed and in some cases knew it was illegal, but still felt it was necessary. Some aspects of post-abortion care are performed better by informally than formally trained health workers. Post-abortion family planning was poorly performed by Thai health workers. Lay midwives play a central role in fertility management and some are abortionists. Burmese women�s partners are not well informed about fertility management and frequently decline vasectomy. Within a relm of limited traditional and modern reproductive choices, women manage their fertility outcomes. The Burmese women in this study are generally married with children. Considered illegal migrants, they are employed and work in Thailand without work permits. Many women have a history of escaping human rights abuses and entrenched poverty in Burma. At least a third of women admitted into care with post-abortion complications have induced their abortion with oral herbal preparations, pummelling manipulations or stick abortions. Most of the abortion services are provided by Burmese lay midwives. Reasons for terminating the pregnancy include: poverty, gender-based violence and the local illness of �weakness�. In addition, incomplete sexual health knowledge, and difficult access to reproductive health services play a part in mistimed pregnancy. I argue that a lack of rights increases women�s risk of unsafe abortion. The rights to work and earn a fair wage and to move without fear influence reproductive health choices and access to health services. A lack of sexual health information for men and women and the ability to safely control fertility causes unwanted pregnancies. Furthermore, violence perpetrated at the individual and state level contributes to unsafe abortion. Burmese women�s mortality and morbidity associated with unsafe abortion in Thailand is largely unrecorded and unknown to the Burmese military government. Unwanted and mistimed pregnancy can be avoided through reproductive technologies, education programmes, and access to modern contraceptives. To safely terminate unwanted pregnancies and to treat the complications of pregnancy loss is a woman�s right. Burma and Thailand are signatories to Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Descrimination Against Women, yet Burmese women continue to suffer, become sterile, socially vilified, unemployed or repatriated to Burma due to their reproductive status. Their sickness and deaths are secondary to the economic imperatives of Burma and Thailand.
    Author/creator: Dr. Suzanne Belton
    Language: English
    Format/size: pdf (3.8MB)
    Date of entry/update: 23 December 2005


    Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2003-2004 - Chapter 7. Rights of Women
    Date of publication: December 2004
    Description/subject: 7.1 Background...Women in Politics...7.2 Health of Women from Burma...7.3 Women and Forced Labor... 7.4 Violence against Women... 7.5 Trafficking of Women...7.6 Rape and Sexual Violence - Partial list of incidents for 2003...7.7 Interviews...
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 07 August 2008


    Title: SYSTEM OF IMPUNITY: Nationwide Patterns of Sexual Violence by the Military Regime’s Army and Authorities in Burma
    Date of publication: 04 September 2004
    Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report 'System of Impunity' documents detailed accounts of sexual violence against women in all the ethnic states, as well as in central areas of Burma. These stories demonstrate patterns of continuing widespread, and systematic human rights violations being perpetrated by the regime’s armed forces and authorities. Women and girls from different ethnic groups report similar stories of rape, including gang rape; rape and murder; sexual slavery; and forced “marriage”. Significantly, almost all the incidents took place during the last two years, precisely while the regime has been repeatedly denying the prevalence of military rape in Burma. These stories bear witness to the fact that, despite the regime’s claims to the contrary, nothing has changed in Burma. Regardless of their location, be it in the civil war zones, the ceasefire areas or “non-conflict” areas, it is clear that no woman or girl is safe from rape and sexual torture under the current regime. Soldiers, captains, commanders and other SPDC officials continue to commit rape, gang rape and murder of women and children, with impunity. The documented stories demonstrate the systematic and structuralized nature of the violence, and the climate of impunity which not only enables the military to evade prosecution for rape and other crimes against civilian women, but also fosters a culture of continued and escalating violence. Even when crimes are reported no action is taken and moreover complainants are victimised, threatened or imprisoned. Women and children continue to be raped, used as sex slaves, tortured and murdered across the country by the regime’s armed forces and authorities. It is clear that the rapes and violence are not committed by rogue elements within the military but are central to the modus operandi of this regime. Structuralized and systematic human rights violations, including sexual violence, are an inevitable result of the regime’s policies of military expansion and consolidation of control by all possible means over a disenfranchised civilian population. This is why there can be no other solution to the problem of systematic sexual violence in Burma than an end to military rule. While countries in the region, members of ASEAN, and particularly Burma’s neighbours, appear willing to overlook human rights issues in their dealings with Burma, women of Burma wish to highlight that these policies of constructive engagement have grave repercussions for the citizens of Burma, particularly women and children. The political support which the regime is gaining from the region is emboldening it to continue its policies of militarization and accompanying sexual violence. It is directly placing the lives of women and girls in Burma at risk..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women's League of Burma (WLB)
    Format/size: pdf (946K), Word (936K), 81 pages
    Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/SYSTEM_OF_IMPUNITY.doc
    http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/SYSTEM_OF_IMPUNITY.pdf
    http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/SYSTEM_OF_IMPUNITY-1.doc
    Date of entry/update: 04 September 2004


    Title: Overcoming Shadows
    Date of publication: 2004
    Description/subject: "This book contains stories and articles written by women from Burma participating in a project to aid the process of building peace in their home country. In particular, the volume arose from a training held in February 2003, entitled “Building Inner Peace.” This was the second training of the project, with the first five week training held in March 2002. In the six months following the training, the participants returned to their communities to conduct workshops in different countries, including Bangladesh, China, India and Thailand. The training programs are the implementation of a decision made by Women’s League of Burma (WLB) at their first conference in December 2000 to prioritize the peace building process. The WLB is trying to contribute to genuine peace by broadening the peace process in Burma, beyond the cease-fire agreements between the armed opposition groups and the military regime. The goal of the WLB is to contribute to a genuine peace, where all are free, from all forms violence. There can only be genuine peace when women are free from domestic and sexual violence in the home and wider community. The second training took place as the training participants wanted to share their experiences and to deepen their expertise in peace building techniques and strengthen their understanding of gender issues. The organizers themselves believe that an understanding of the nature of violence against women and techniques to improve personal development will strengthen women, enabling them to better deal with some of the obstacles they encounter in their work for peace. This book is part of the breaking of the culture of silence around sexual abuse and discrimination in the different communities in Burma. It is not a chronicle of abuse. If anyone is interested in violations, then one only has to read the myriad of reports on human rights violations for a taste of the systematic violations of the rights of both women and men in Burma. Rather, this book reflects the attempts of 16 women to understand the particular forms of injustice women experience..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women as Peacebuilders Team, Women's League of Burma
    Format/size: pdf (359K) 42 pages
    Date of entry/update: 07 November 2004


    Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2002-03 - Chapter 7: Rights of Women
    Date of publication: November 2003
    Description/subject: 7.1 Background...Women in Politics...7.2 Health of Women from Burma...7.3 Women and Forced Labor...7.4 Violence against Women...7.5 Trafficking of Women...7.6 Rape and sexual violence - Partial list of incidents...7.7 Personal Accounts
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 07 August 2008


    Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2001-2002: Women's Rights
    Date of publication: September 2002
    Description/subject: "...The elevation of the military in society has enforced stereotypes about the subordinate status of women while at the same time blocked access to the tools, such as education and health care, that women need to attain genuine equality. Although the military regime became a party to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination of Women (CEDAW) in 1997 it has done little more than make token changes, such as the formation of some womens organizations, to implement the tenets of the convention. Ethnic women living in conflict areas are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses. Health care and education is severely underdeveloped in these areas, including access to family planning methods. Women in these areas are also subject to forced relocations, forced labor, forced portering in war zones, physical abuse and sexual violations. These are directed, primarily, at ethnic minorities seeking autonomy. Women in conflict areas find themselves vulnerable to abuse and lacking in their basic needs, which may force them into becoming refugees or migrants...."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Women and Peace Building. Workshops on the role for Burmese women in developing peace building strategies
    Date of publication: 21 May 2002
    Description/subject: "On 16-17 May 2003 a workshop was held in New Delhi, India, and on the 19- 21 May 2003 a similar workshop was held in Chiangmai, Thailand, organized by International IDEA and the Women’s League of Burma (WLB). The aims of the workshops were to strengthen capacities of women from the ethnic nationalities to participate in and shape the National Reconciliation Process in Burma. The resources persons for the workshops were: Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Director of the International Center for Ethnic Studies who spoke both about the international context and standards of women’s participation in peace processes and about the Sri Lankan experience in particular. Ms. Myriam Méndez-Montalvo, Senior Programme Officer for International IDEA, who spoke about experiences in Colombia and Guatemala, Ms. Nomboniso Gasa, former Member of the Commission for Gender Equality in South Africa, who spoke about women’s peace building initiatives in South Africa. Ms. Jyotsna Chatterji, Director of the Joint Women’s Program, India participated in New Delhi only and spoke of the experiences of women in India. Ms. Theresa Kelly, founding member of the Women’s Coalition of Northern Ireland, participated in Chiangmai only and spoke about the creation of the Women’s Coalition and its role in the peace process and in current politics in Northern Ireland..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women's League of Burma, International IDEA
    Format/size: pdf (388.79 K)
    Date of entry/update: 06 August 2010


    Title: Breaking the Silence
    Date of publication: 15 March 2002
    Description/subject: Paper submitted to the forty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women March 4-15, 2002 by Women's League of Burma (WLB). "...The aim of this paper is to highlight some of the root causes of poverty and environmental degradation in Burma, and show how this has affected women and to give examples of how women are organizing themselves to survive and create an enabling environment for political and social change, and for gender equality..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women's League of Burma (WLB)
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.asiasource.org/asip/breaking.cfm
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Gathering Strength - Women from Burma on their Rights
    Date of publication: January 2002
    Description/subject: Link to the URLs of the individual chapters (pdf): IMAGES ASIA'S CEDAW PROJECT METHODOLOGY: THE AIM OF THIS REPORT 11; THE INTERVIEW PROCESS 11; OBSTACLES ENCOUNTERED DURING RESEARCH 13; DATA ANALYSIS 14; OTHER PROJECT AIMS 17. THE CEDAW & THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATIONS: THE CEDAW & THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS MOVEMENT; STRUCTURE OF THE CEDAW; GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS; CEDAW MONITORING MECHANISMS; THE SPDC AT THE 22ND SESSION OF THE CEDAW... MEETINGS & MACHINERY: THE GOVERNMENT'S COMMITMENT TO THE CEDAW: OVERVIEW; THE BURMESE WAY TO EQUALITY; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... SOCIAL ROLES & GENDER STEREOTYPES: OVERVIEW; RELIGION & GENDER DISCRIMINATION; PRESERVERS OF CULTURE; FAMILY ROLES; SOCIAL RELATIONS & BEHAVIOURAL NORMS; RESTRICTIONS; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: OVERVIEW; WOMEN IN WAR; RELOCATION & DISPLACEMENT; SEXUAL VIOLENCE & ARMED CONFLICT; SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN AREAS OF MILITARY OCCUPATION; SEXUAL VIOLENCE ACROSS BORDERS: REFUGEES & MIGRANTS; SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE COMMUNITY; REPORTING & PUNISHMENT OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE; FORCED MARRIAGE; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN RELOCATION & REFUGE; GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... WOMEN'S HEALTH: OVERVIEW; GOVERNMENT HEALTH SPENDING; POLICY, LAW & ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS RELATING TO WOMEN'S HEALTH; EDUCATION ABOUT WOMEN'S HEALTH ISSUES; ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE; REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH; MATERNAL HEALTH; WOMEN & HIV/AIDS 120 FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... EDUCATION FOR WOMEN & GIRLS: OVERVIEW; WOMEN & ILLITERACY; CURRENT SCHOOL ATTENDANCE & DROP OUT; BARRIERS TO EDUCATION; DISCRIMINATION IN GIRLS' SCHOOLING; INCENTIVES & OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIGHER EDUCATION; VOCATIONAL TRAINING; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... THE ECONOMY & WOMEN'S LABOUR: OVERVIEW; THE ECONOMY; DECISION-MAKING & THE FAMILY INCOME; CULTURAL STEREOTYPES REGARDING WORK; RURAL WOMEN; FORCED LABOUR; EDUCATION & WORK OPPORTUNITIES; WOMEN IN THE PAID LABOUR FORCE; THE CIVIL SERVICE; THE INFORMAL SECTOR; THE PRIVATE SECTOR; LACK OF INFORMAL & PRIVATE SECTOR REGULATION; THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... MIGRATION & TRAFFICKING OF WOMEN & GIRLS: OVERVIEW; RESTRICTION ON WOMEN'S FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT; REGIONAL MIGRATION; TRAFFICKING; SEX WORK; DEPORTATION; ACTIONS TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... WOMEN & THE LAW: OVERVIEW; FOUNDATIONS OF THE LAW IN BURMA; LAWS RELATING SPECIFICALLY TO WOMEN; THE PRACTICE OF THE LAW; WOMEN & FAMILY LAW; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS: OVERVIEW; RESTRICTIONS ON POLITICAL FREEDOM; INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION; NATIONAL PARTICIPATION; LOCAL PARTICIPATION; WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN OPPOSITION MOVEMENTS; CONSEQUENCES OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY; WOMEN'S POLITICAL ACTIVITIES IN EXILE; WOMEN IN BURMA'S POLITICAL FUTURE; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS... CONCLUSION... BIBLIOGRAPHY... ORGANISATIONAL PROFILE.
    Author/creator: Brenda Belak
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Images Asia
    Format/size: html (38K)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2000: Women's Rights
    Date of publication: October 2001
    Description/subject: Events of 2000. Women in Politics, Health of women from Burma, Women and Forced Labor, Violence against Women, Trafficking of Women, Rape and sexual violence - Partial list of incidents, "Since the military regime took power in 1962, it has had to put disproportionate resources into maintaining its power and strengthening the military. The result of this and ongoing civil war is poor infrastructure, inadequate health care and education systems, widespread poverty and a militarized society that puts the needs of the civilian population, particularly women, second to military concerns. The elevation of the military in society has enforced stereotypes about the subordinate status of women while at the same time blocked access to the tools, such as education and health care, that women need to attain genuine equality. Although the military regime became a party to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination of Women (CEDAW) in 1997 it has done little more than make token changes, such as the formation of some womens organizations, to implement it..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: Main page of the Yearbook: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/yearbooks/Main.htm
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Women and Law in Burma
    Date of publication: August 2001
    Description/subject: "Women in Burma are struggling under the military regime. There is no policy, law or programme for the development of women. Instead, women are often the target of particular abuse. Rape by soldiers is common. Military officers are even involved in the trafficking of Burmese women into prostitution in Thailand. The women in Burma are struggling, but continue to find ways to survive, nurture their communities and resist the military regime with inspiring grace and humour. The vision of women for Burma is a foundation on which a new, democratic and just society should be built. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said, "Women are generally regarded as home-makers, tenders of the hearth around which the family gathers, weavers of the gentle ties that bind faster than the strongest iron chains". But women in Burma have to battle against many odds: tradition, cultural discrimination, male domination, lack of access to information and education, and inequalities that have become entrenched by law. The most critical factor in the transition to a new society in Burma is the lack of provisions in law for the empowerment of women and their participation in decision-making processes..."
    Author/creator: B.K. Sen
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 9 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
    Alternate URLs: The original (and authoritative) version of this article may be found in "Legal issues of Burma Journal" No. 9 at http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Legal%20Issues%20on%20Burma%20Journal%209.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Women's Report Card on Burma 2001
    Date of publication: June 2001
    Description/subject: WOMEN AND POLITICS: The Democracy Movement, "Dialogue", Women's Organisations, Inside Burma, Outside Burma; WOMEN, POVERTY & THE ECONOMY: Living in Poverty; SPDC and Poverty; WOMEN AND EDUCATION: Access to Basic Education, Education and Politics; "Relevant History", The Re-Opening of Universities; WOMEN AND HEALTH: Access to basic health standards and facilities, Demographics; HIV/AIDS: Women, Children & HIV, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Family Planning, Refugees & Migrant Workers; VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Rape, Women outside Burma, Commercial Sex Workers (CSW); RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SPDC: BIBLIOGRAPHY; WHAT YOU CAN DO; CONTACTS: Women of Burma Groups, Groups Working with Women of Burma, Burma on the Internet; RESOURCES FROM ALTSEAN-BURMA.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma)
    Format/size: HTML (286K) 36 pages; Word (158K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/WRC2001.doc
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: "Escape From the Bear and Run Into the Tiger": The Impact of Violence and Fear on Migrants' Reproductive Health
    Date of publication: December 2000
    Description/subject: "The massive influx of migrants from Burma into Thailand is one of the largest migrant populations in Asia. Over one million migrants from Burma are currently residing in Thailand. An ethnically diverse group coming from all over Burma and speaking many different languages, these migrants often lack a common language even among themselves. What they do share are encounters of fear and violence, that affect most facets of their lives. During 1998, an Assessment of Reproductive and Sexual Health Perspectives, Concerns and Realities of Migrant Workers from Burma in Thailand was conducted under the guidance of Mahidol University's Institute of Population and Social Research (IPSR). The recently published results of the study reveal that a fear of violence and a preoccupation with staying safe determines almost every aspect of the migrants' lives, including their health care options and decisions. The study highlights the extremely limited health services that exist in Burma as well as the problems encountered by migrants in Thailand such as the ready availability of medicines without access to health services or education. Consequently, people from Burma suffer from easily treatable conditions, presenting a health care crisis on both sides of the border. Most migrants from Burma in Thailand reside illegally and are generally unable to communicate in Thai. They are often in situations which leave them vulnerable to violence and abuse by employers, authorities and even each other. These experiences, coupled with fears of violence and exploitation, create a vacuum in which the migrants have few or no options for health services. This reality is further compounded by cultural mores and the lack of basic and reproductive health education, which lead to high maternal mortality and morbidity rates, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/ AIDS)..."
    Author/creator: Therese Caouette
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" VOL. VII, NO. 4 WINTER 2000
    Format/size: pdf (329K - article; 1.22MB - full magazine)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/BD2000-V07-N04.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: An examination of the usage of systematic sexual violence as a weapon of warfare and tool of repression in non-international armed conflicts
    Date of publication: 06 October 2000
    Description/subject: "In 1994, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women stated, “[rape] remains, the least condemned war crime; throughout history, the rape of hundreds of thousands of women and children in all regions of the world has been a bitter reality.” Despite the pervasiveness of sexual violence during periods of armed conflict, rape and other forms of sexual violence have traditionally been mischaracterized as private acts, the unfortunate but inevitable behaviour of individual soldiers. The revelations of the existence of ‘rape camps’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, dramatically altered the awareness of systematic sexual violence against women as a facet of warfare. It has become recognised that sexual violence is not purely an unfortunate ancillary effect of armed conflict but rather a tool by which the civilian population is terrorized, dominated, driven from their homes and destroyed. However, although the rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia have attracted a wealth of academic discussion and analysis, numerous other occurrences of widespread and systematic sexual violence have received comparatively little attention. This paper will focus on the systematic use of sexual violence against women in situations of non-international armed conflict, due to both the prevalence of internal conflicts in recent history, and the relative lack of legal provisions of international humanitarian law which apply to conflicts of this nature. The discussion will focus on the use of sexual violence as both a weapon of warfare, i.e. in order to actively achieve a specific political or military objective, and as a form of heinous repression by which the civilian population is dominated, though in practice the distinction between the two concepts may be somewhat fine. It is of the utmost importance to recognise that sexual violence happens systematically. It is only through acknowledging and responding to the occurrence of organised and strategic sexual violence that senior political and military officials can be held accountable. The term systematic is not used to denote the invention of a new crime, but rather to describe certain forms of sexual violence which have been deliberately planned or officially sanctioned by senior military or government figures for the achievement of a specific objective. Part One of the paper will detail the systematic use of sexual violence, in relation to internal armed conflicts and will outline the various purposes which sexual violence has been intended to achieve. Particular emphasis will be given to the conflicts in Peru, Rwanda and Kosovo, though the conflicts in Kashmir Sierra Leone, Liberia and Chechnya are also particularly pertinent to the discussion. Although the characterisation of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia has been the subject of varying determinations by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and is considered by several academics as having been both an international and a non-international conflict, the details of the mass rape which occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been well documented and will not be discussed in depth. Part One will also examine the factors which fuel systematic rape, with particular regard to the promulgation of gender and ethnicity based stereotypes and propaganda. Sexual violence in situations of armed conflict amounts to a clear breach of international law. Part Two will consider the importance of the fact that sexual violence has occurred systematically for the characterisation of such acts as violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. In this respect, the adequacy of international humanitarian law in relation not only to the physical victims but also to the witnesses of sexual violence warrants analysis, as sexual violence of this nature is often intended to cause harm to those other than the physical victims. Part Two will also examine the characterisation of rape as a crime against humanity and will analyse the genocidal rape discourse which has evolved following the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia..."
    Author/creator: Bob Last
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: University of Nottingham School of Law (Dissertation)
    Format/size: html (348K)
    Date of entry/update: 19 July 2004


    Title: Fear and Hope: Displaced Burmese Women in Burma and Thailand
    Date of publication: March 2000
    Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The impact of decades of military repression on the population of Burma has been devastating. Hundreds of thousands of Burmese have been displaced by the government�s suppression of ethnic insurgencies and of the pro-democracy movement. As government spending has concentrated on military expenditures to maintain its control, the once-vibrant Burmese economy has been virtually destroyed. Funding for health and education is negligible, leaving the population at the mercy of the growing AIDS epidemic, which is itself fueled by the production, trade and intravenous use of heroin, as well as the trafficking of women. The Burmese people, whether displaced by government design or by economic necessity, whether opposed to the military regime or merely trying to survive in a climate of fear, face enormous challenges. Human rights abuses are legion. The government�s strategies of forced labor and relocation destroy communities. Displacement, disruption of social networks and the collapse of the public health systems provide momentum for the spreading AIDS epidemic�which the government has barely begun to acknowledge or address. The broader crisis in health care in general and reproductive health in particular affects women at all levels; maternal mortality is extremely high, family planning is discouraged. The decay�and willful destruction�of the educational system has created an increasingly illiterate population�without the tools necessary to participate in a modern society. The country-wide economic crisis drives the growth of the commercial sex industry, both in Burma and in Thailand. Yet, international pressure for political change is increasing and nongovernmental organizations and some UN agencies manage to work within Burma, quietly challenging the status quo. The delegation met with Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, who is considered by much of the international community as the true representative of the Burmese people. Despite her concerns that humanitarian aid can prop up the SPDC, she was cautiously supportive of direct, transparent assistance in conjunction with unrelenting international condemnation of the military government�s human rights abuses and anti-democratic rule. The delegation concluded that carefully designed humanitarian assistance in Burma can help people without strengthening the military government. And, until democracy is restored in Burma, refugees in Thailand must receive protection from forced repatriation, and be offered opportunities for skills development and education to carry home. On both sides of the border, women�s groups work to respond to the issues facing their communities; they are a critical resource in addressing the critical needs for education, reproductive health and income generation." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women's Commission on Refugee Women and Children
    Format/size: pdf (182.54 K)
    Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


    Title: Gender Issues, Myanmar
    Date of publication: 1999
    Description/subject: Population context; Situation of Rural Families, Women and Children; Trafficking in Women and Children; HIV/AIDS Prevalence with a Focus on Shan State; Policy and Planning Focus in Rural Development; "...The most critical cross-boarder issues include the complex set of trade and politics related socio-economic problems, the illicit drug trade and abuse, the spread of HIV/AIDS, internal and cross-boarder trafficking of women and children for labour exploitation including prostitution and tourism industries; impact of conflicts and indigenous refugee populations abroad, internally misplaced people, and increasing feminisation of poverty and poor nutrition particularly in the rural areas..."
    Author/creator: Dr Leena M Kirjavainen
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Regional Environmental Technical Assistance 5771 Poverty Reduction & Environmental Management in Remote Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Watersheds (Phase I). (ESCAP)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: This Revolutionary Life
    Date of publication: March 1995
    Description/subject: "Women of the Kachin Liberated Area". "12 women, all living in or near the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organization, were asked essentially the same set of questions. Topics covered included politics, culture, health, violence, and religion. The picture that emerges from their answers is one of strong, independent women, functioning confidently amid considerable hardship..." "The women -- doctors, soldiers, shopkeepers -- reveal many aspects of their lives. They tell how they survive, their perceptions of women's role and political power, and their hopes for the future..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Project Maje
    Format/size: PDF (871K)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Women Speak Out for Peace in Burma
    Date of publication: July 1989
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Project Maje
    Format/size: PDF (2.31MB) 30 pages
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Burmese women's organisations

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Borderline Women's Collective
    Description/subject: Borderline Women's Collective, Gallery and Tea Garden, located in Mae Sot, Thailand began with three women's organisations seeking to establish a shared marketing space for women from Burma and living along the Thai-Burma border to sell their hand made items. The women's groups also hoped that by having a collectively managed market they would build their capacity for running income generation projects with the communities with which they work. In May 2004, the Borderline Women's Collective opened... As of May 2008, the members of the Collective are: KWO (Karen Women's Organization); TBCAF (Tak Border Child Assistance Foundation); KWAT (Kachin Women's Association of Thailand); LWO (Lahu Women's Organisation); MWO (Mon Women's Organisation); WDG (Women's Development Group); CWG (Chin Women's Group); CFSG (Community Forest Support Group) and ESC (English Speaking Course - Nu Po Camp).
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Borderline Women's Collective
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 04 May 2008


    Title: Burmese Women's Union
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Women's League of Burma
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 08 January 2011


    Title: Gender Equality Network (GEN) Myanmar
    Description/subject: Key Focus Areas: * Contributing to the development of laws, policies, systems, structures and practices to achieve women’s rights and participation at every level * Contributing to the articulation and reinforcement of social practices and cultural norms that favour gender equality, and changing those that discriminate against women * Promoting women’s participation in leadership and public life, and supporting women to have the capacity and opportunity to effectively exercise their roles in all sectors * Addressing gender-based violence through increasing awareness and support to stakeholders for implementation of effective evidence-based mechanisms and strategies to prevent and mitigate violence against women and girls * Strengthening GEN to continue to be a dynamic and cohesive network of skilled and confi dent members who are able to work effectively for women’s rights and gender equality...
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Gender Equality Network (GEN) Myanmar via LRC
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 12 July 2013


    Title: Karen Women's Organisation
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Karen Women's Organisation
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Palaung Women's Organisation website (English and Burmese)
    Description/subject: What we believe: 'PWO believes that recognizing women’s rights and women participation in different level of political and social tasks is one of the processes of building a just society'... Organizational profile: The Palaung Women’s Organization (PWO) was established in 2000 in response to the dearth of women actively participating within other Palaung organizations. Cultural factors determined that men had greater access to training, better English language and computer skills, greater self-confidence and more leadership opportunities. PWO was formed with the intention of educating and empowering women so that they could develop and strengthen their own self-determination and achieve equality of participation.... PWO mission statement: We are Palaung women who will advocate and advance the statues of women in field of development and working forwards achieving gender equality, justice, peace and democratic society... Goal: To actively work towards the eliminating of all form of violence against women To develop and advance the status of Palaung women to actively participate in the political sphere To advocate toward the improvement of the health and well being of Palaung people To increase attention and response at the local, regional and international levels towards addressing Human Rights violations in the Palaung area... Programs and projects: Women's Political Development Program; Eliminating Violence Against Women Program; Health Program; Information Documentation and Research Department; Income Generation projects.
    Language: English, Burmese
    Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organisation
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


    Title: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
    Description/subject: "SWAN is a founding member of the Women's League of Burma (WLB), an umbrella women's organization comprising eleven women's groups from Burma. SWAN, through its affiliation with other women's organizations, establishes common platforms to promote the role of women from Burma in the struggle for democracy and human rights in their country. SWAN's objectives: * Promoting women's rights and the rights of children; * Opposing exploitation of and violence against women and children; * Working together for peace and freedom in our society; * Empowering women for a better life; * Raising awareness to preserve natural resources and the environment. Background of SWAN SWAN was set up on 28 March 1999 by a group of Shan women active in Thailand and along the Thai- Burma border seeking to address the needs of Shan women. In fact, before the formation of SWAN, Shan women in various locations had already been active in a number of projects to assist women. Even though informal networks were in place, it was felt that more could be achieved, in addressing both practical and strategic needs of Shan women, if a more concrete network among the various women could be formed. This Shan women's network would also be able to coordinate with other women's organizations from Burma, as well as GOs and NGOs working with women locally, nationally and internationally. General Background The Shan State is over 64,000 square kilometers in size and forms the eastern part of the Union of Burma bordering China, Laos and Thailand. The people of the Shan State, like in other areas of Burma, suffer from abuse inflicted by the Burmese military regime, which according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Asia is amongst the worst in the world. The abuse inflicted on the Shan people by the Burmese military has forced many people to flee for their lives to Thailand. The Thai government, however, does not recognize the Shan people as refugees and unlike the Karen and Karenni refugees, has not allowed them to set up refugees camps along the Thai-Burmese border. Consequently the Shans are forced to enter Thailand illegally, which leaves them extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Despite this, Shan people are still coming to take refuge in Thailand. The estimated number of Shans working illegally in Thailand is at least 300,000. Among them are many girls and young women who have been trafficked into Thai brothels, where they face a wide range of abuse including sexual and other physical violence, debt bondage, exposure to HIV/AIDS, forced labor without payment and illegal confinement..." Reports, programmes etc.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: April 2003


    Title: Social Action for Women (SAW)
    Description/subject: Organization Profile: Social Action for Women (SAW) was founded in June 25, 2000 to assist displaced women from Burma who are in crisis situations after having fled to Mae Sod, Thailand. SAW is based in Mae Sod and was established to support women facing difficulties through the provision of shelter, health education, rights awareness, counseling, and vocational training for unskilled women. SAW has expanded its focus population to include caring for and educating orphaned children and children of migrant parents. In 2008, SAW was one of 25 organizations worldwide to receive the Red Ribbon Award from the UNDP for providing outstanding HIV prevention, treatment and education on a grassroots level.... SAW's Programs: Among the projects run by SAW, are the Safe House for abandoned babies, the Children's Crisis Center, the Women's Crisis Center, the Health Care House, which is a shelter for women living with HIV/AIDS, a Preschool and Middle School, the Reproductive Health Program and an Income Generation Program. In 2006, SAW started two new programs: the Women Talk Program and a Program against Gender-Based Violence..... Vision: By supporting vulnerable women and children, SAW hopes it will strengthen their abilities to face future challenges, minimize their risk of becoming involved in illicit activities and help them develop into healthy and productive members of society..... Objectives: 1. To assist Burmese women and children affected by displacement along the Thai-Burma border by providing support services in areas of health, education and safe housing 2. To provide counseling and training to helpless women and children 3. To promote health education among migrant workers..... To meet its goals, SAW is closely collaborating with Mae Tao Clinic, Mae Sod Hospital, UNHCR (Mae Sod), World Vision, RH Network (Mae Sod), Committee for Protection and Promotion of Child Rights, Burmese Worker Associations and other women organizations in Mae Sod.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Social Action for Women (SAW)
    Format/size: html, jpeg, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 15 February 2009


    Title: Weave
    Description/subject: About Weave: "The organization was founded in 1990, with the intent to empower indigenous women and support their needs and basic human rights. The organization has evolved over the years, especially in the context of the influx of refugees from Burma. In 1994, WEAVE developed a partnership with refugee women’s organizations. This lead to changes in our mission to reflect the organizations new thrust and direction. WEAVE’s projects attempt to address some of the problems faced by marginalized ethnic women from Burma and their children in the key areas of education, health and self reliance. Our work is multi-sectoral and we continue to create and expand opportunities for women and their communities. While each program has its own focal area, WEAVE has started to become more integrated in our approach, recognizing the interrelatedness of our programs while at the same time trying to remain relevant. Capacity development and advocacy are integral parts of all WEAVE’s programs. WEAVE’s target communities are displaced persons, particularly women, recognizing their role in providing for their families and in ensuring the well-being of their children. Our work has expanded to include the Indo-Burma border, but mainly concentrates along the Thai-Burma border...Vision Mission and Goals: Women’s Advancement and Empowerment through Education... Our Challenge and Commitment: We are Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment (WEAVE) a non-profit women’s organization established in 1990. We exist believing that encouraging the leadership of women and the development of their status benefits the whole community... Towards this end: We shall support women to expand their power, rights and opportunities through active women’s organizations in their communities. We shall support and strengthen the development efforts of women’s organizations to become empowered and self-reliant, enabling them to participate fully in their communities and political life. We are women and men of diverse ethnic groups and geographical backgrounds. As individuals and as an organization, we are committed to working in partnership with marginalized ethnic women from Burma .
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Weave
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 30 January 2007


    Title: Women's League of Burma (WLB)
    Description/subject: Well-designed site containing several substantial reports, links, profiles of member organisations, etc. Members: Kachin Women's Association - Thailand (KWAT); Karen Women's Organization (KWO); Kuki Women's Human Rights Organization (KWHRO); Lahu Women's Organization (LWO); Palaung Women's Organization (PWO); Pa-O Women's Union (PWU); Rakhaing Women's Union (RWU); Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN); Tavoy Women's Union (TWU); Women's Rights & Welfare Association of Burma (WRWAB)... "The Women's League of Burma (WLB) is an umbrella organization comprising 11 already-existing women's organizations of different ethnic backgrounds from Burma. WLB was founded on December 9,1999. Its mission is to work for women's empowerment and advancement of the status of women, and to work for the increased participation of women in all spheres of society in the democracy movement, and in peace and national reconciliation processes through capacity building, advocacy, research and documentation... Aims: * To work for the empowerment and development of women. * To encourage women's participation in decision-making in all spheres of life. * To enable women to participate effectively in the movement for peace, democracy and national reconciliation. By working together, and encouraging cooperation between the different groups, the Women's League of Burma hopes to build trust, solidarity and mutual understanding among women of all nationalities in Burma.".... The site also contains statements made by WLB representatives at various regional and international meetings including the Commission on Human Rights and the World Conference Against Racism.
    Language: English, (links in Burmese, Thai)
    Source/publisher: Women's League of Burma
    Format/size: html, pdf
    Date of entry/update: 28 October 2003


  • International groups working for women of Burma

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: WeWomen Foundation
    Description/subject: "We women is a foundation that strives to achieve equality for various groups of people in the world. The foundation assists women, refugees, ethnic minorities, and disadvantaged groups with their questions, struggles and needs, as they are formulated within their own terms. Academic research is the first step in this process, as it helps to gain insight into local beliefs, practices and wishes. Personal growth, social inclusion, (mental) health, education, and the encouragement of creative initiatives are all key areas of We’s engagement with local populations, with the ultimate goal of achieving equality for all.".....The plight of unrecognized refugee women from Burma: "The We women foundation is founded in the service of assisting unrecognized refugee women from Burma. Although the particulars of each woman’s story may vary, the reason for their flight from Burma is the same: life under military dictatorship in Burma is harsh, caused by chronic economic, social and political crisis. For forty eight years forced labor, forced relocation and armed insurgency fuelled by ethnic and political tensions is daily life reality throughout the country. Crossing the border is extremely dangerous and when the women finally reach Thailand, they face different challenges. As Thailand does not recognize all ethnic groups from Burma as refugees, they exist only as illegal migrants, whose jobs and livelihoods may be terminated without cause. Living as an illegal migrant is the uncertain and often frightening reality of many women from Burma. In order to protect themselves from both physical and mental harm, migrants from Burma often gather together, creating a strong community. Together they try to protect themselves from losing their ethnic and cultural identity. Women are seen as representing this cultural identity, and this is why they are carefully protected and monitored by their community. Young women in particular carry certain responsibilities towards their community and, in general, have less of a chance than men to access beneficial life trajectories, such as education. Most women feel impassioned and motivated to take part in the struggle to gain human rights for the people from Burma; however, they feel that without education they are pushed back into traditional roles which do not allow them the freedom and mobility to contribute to this struggle. Young women often describe education as an opportunity to better position themselves to promote equality for people from Burma all around the world. The We women foundation supports educational resources for these young unrecognized refugee women, so that they have the change to take part in the human rights struggle for the people from Burma and can become influential members of their communities. Political labeling of people as illegal migrants is the root cause of the lack of human rights for people who flee their home country, because their leaders have failed to protect their safety. In the case of women from Burma, a constituency that has been denied representation in their own country and consequently in their country of emigration, the We women foundation acts as advocate and sponsor with the goal of supporting an established, educated and influential community of leaders from Burma..."
    Language: Dutch, English
    Source/publisher: WeWomen Foundation
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 15 September 2010


  • Newsletters by women of Burma

    • "Voice Up"
      "The newsletter focusing on current issues of empowerment, community participation, and advocacy for women and children from Burma" published by WCRP

      Individual Documents

      Title: "Voice Up" Volume 1, August 2012
      Date of publication: August 2012
      Description/subject: "The newsletter focusing on current issues of empowerment, community participation, and advocacy for women and children from Burma."..... "Women narratives: the life of a refugee" - "The nine refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese border are home to people displaced by war, economic hardship, and Burmese military assaults on ethnic areas. Many refugee women are burdened by difficulties, but still holding on to hope..." "Reports of child trafficking and abuse prompt educational workshop on the border"..."Support Women’s Capacity and Listen to Their Voices"..."Donor cuts nearly shut down middle school in refugee camp"..."Parents question strenuous student schedules"..."Mon language study only allowed on weekends in government schools"..."Women IDPs and refugees continue to face challenges to livelihood"..."First ever Women and Peace Workshop held in Mon State"..."Shin Saw Puu Association represents important step in women’s leadership and civil participation" - “This Association really encourages women to participate in leadership roles, and they inspire many women to get involved.”..."Young women leading community development projects"..."KWAT Demonstrates Persistent Abuses and Impunity in Kachin State"..."Child sufferers of dengue fever pack Moulmein hospital"..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP)
      Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
      Date of entry/update: 21 August 2012


    • SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: SWAN publication page
      Description/subject: SWAN Reports and the newsetter archive
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Individual Documents

      Title: S W A N - Shan Women's Action Network Newsletter (March 2012 # 12)
      Date of publication: March 2012
      Description/subject: When will the cycle of violence end?... • Standing up as female comedians in Burma... • Lessons from Shan State’s deadly earthquake... • How ruby-mining made us poor... . • Exploited in China’s tobacco fields
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: S W A N
      Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org
      Date of entry/update: 22 August 2012


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter October 2010 # 11
      Date of publication: October 2010
      Description/subject: Pooling community talent to oppose the sham 2010 election; Patterns of sexual violence and impunity continue in Shan State; Struggling to be legal in Thailand ["Without access to asylum, hundreds of thousands of Shan refugees have been forced to become migrant workers in Thailand. Some have been able to obtain legal work permits, but many have not, for lack of funds and other reasons. However, recent Thai regulations now require all migrants to go through a “national verifi cation” process at the Burma border, to obtain a temporary passport that will enable them to continue working in Thailand..."]... Hastening climate change in Shan State ["...While this year's drought has been attributed to a number of factors, many in Shan State are convinced that widespread logging in the Shan hills over the past few decades is largely to blame..."]... Pushed back - again ["With civil war and oppression continuing in Shan State, thousands of refugees have continued to fl ow into Thailand each year. However, unlike Karen and Karenni refugees, the Shan are not recognized by the Thai government, and are denied access to refugee camps in Thailand. As a result, most refugees from Shan State have been forced to become migrant workers. About 6,000, including vulnerable populations of children, elderly and disabled, have ended up sheltering in fi ve camps just inside the Shan border..."]... Failed War on Drugs takes its toll on Shan youth ["Recent UNODC reports show that opium cultivation and methamphetamine production are increasing in Shan State. The Burmese regime’s failure to curb drug production is attributed by Shan analysts to the Burma Army’s reliance on taxation from drugs, as well as its policy to allow numerous proxy local militia to deal in drugs in exchange for policing against resistance activity..."]... Campaigning with regional networks to protect shared natural resources.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter October 2009 # 10
      Date of publication: October 2009
      Description/subject: Fickle friends ["At the end of August 2009, media across the globe covered stories of the heavy fighting between the SPDC and the Kokang army on the northern Shan border, which broke the 20-year-long ceasefire and drove more than 30,000 refugees into neighbouring China. In a rare admonishment, the junta’s longtime ally China urged SPDC to safeguard stability in the border area and protect the rights of Chinese citizens living there..."]...Reaching out to our neighbours ["...we regard the Chinese as our close neighbours, and understand the importance of developing friendly relations with those living beside and among us. Regrettably, however, national political interests over the past half century have often served to drive a wedge between us and our neighbours..."]...Renewed scorched earth campaign in Central Shan State October 2009 # 10 • Reaching out to our neighbours INSIDE • Renewed scorched earth campaign in Central Shan State ["...Burmese military regime launched a new scorched earth campaign in central Shan State, the largest since the mass forced relocations in 1996-1998 which uprooted over 300,000 villagers..."]...Developing Shan language textbooks ["Over the past ten years SWAN, together with other Shan community groups, has been setting up educational opportunities for the Shan refugees and migrant children living along the Thai- Burma Border. Currently SWAN is running fifteen schools for 2,200 students along the Thai-Burma border. Seven of the schools are based in Shan IDP areas. In these schools, which go up to grade nine, Shan is the main language of instruction. One of the main difficulties in operating the schools has been to establish a standardized school curriculum and upgrade the skills of the teachers. Every year we have tried to organize at least two teacher training workshops, which have promoted child-centered and democratic teaching practices..."]...Community based projects...Regional advocacy on socio-economic issues...“Girl Power” on Air...
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (1.3MB - OBL version;
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter October 2008 # 9
      Date of publication: October 2008
      Description/subject: Voting “No” in Shan State ["On May 10, 2008, despite the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis only a week earlier, Burma’s military regime went ahead with a nationwide referendum to endorse their new constitution, part of their road-map to military-led “disciplined democracy.” Five days later, it was announced that the constitution had been overwhelmingly approved by 92.4% of voters. SWAN interviewed a young woman from a town in southern Shan State about her experience of the referendum..."]...Aid to Burma: only on the regime’s terms ["On May 2-3, 2008, the deadly cyclone Nargis hit five divisions of Burma, killing over 130,000 and affecting nearly two and a half million people. With billions of dollars of income from sales of natural gas to Thailand, the regime had more than enough financial capacity to assist the cyclone-affected people. But they didn’t. Instead, they even blocked aid and relief supplies given immediately by the international community. Only gradually, under pressure from the international community, did the regime allow aid to the affected areas, but only on their own terms..."]...Promoting gender equality through community-oriented activities ["SWAN believes it is vitally important to carry out activities at the community level to raise awareness about gender and empower women. Under our Women’s Empowerment Program, SWAN has been supporting bi-monthly Women’s Exchange meetings, running literacy classes for women and organizing community awareness-raising events on International Women’s Day, International Day of Peace and Stop Violence Against Women Day in Shan communities along the Thai- Shan border. Here are some comments from community members, both women and men, on our activities..."]...A Shan “biofuel refugee” speaks out ["Nang B. a 30-year-old refugee woman from Murng Keng in Shan State, fled to Thailand in April 2008, after being forced to grow jatropha (physic nut) under a nationwide biofuel program authorized by Burma’s military regime, targeting eight million acres of land. According to the May 2008 report “Biofuel by Decree” by the Ethnic Community Development Forum (ECDF), nearly 800 “jatropha refugees” had fled from southern Shan State to Thailand..."]...News Briefs: Worldwide vigils for release of Shan leader Hkun Htun Oo; Cuts to refugee rations narrowly averted; Salween dams threaten biodiversity...Empowerment through networking ["As indicated by our name -- the Shan Women’s Action Network -- we at SWAN are firmly committed to the concept of networking – building alliances to promote solidarity and action to further the rights of our communities..."]
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (1.4MB - OBL version)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter October 2007 # 8
      Date of publication: October 2007
      Description/subject: Commemorating deceased monks and civilians: past and present ["For years, SPDC generals and senior officials have been seen daily in Burma’s state-run media attending religious ceremonies, offering food and necessities to monks, and sponsoring the repair and restoration of old temples, and the building of new ones to “preserve” Buddhism in Burma. However, since September 2007, the real sacrilegious face of the SPDC has been exposed to the entire world, as it cracked down on the peaceful protests led by tens of thousands of monks throughout Burma..."]...Fleeing refugees find no safe refuge at Thai border ["200 meters from Thailand lie the demolished remains of Loi Sarm Sip refugee camp, set up by Shan State refugees fleeing human rights abuses committed by the Burmese military regime earlier this year. In May 2007, the Thai army determined that the site, located within Shan State, was “too easily seen from Thailand” and forcibly relocated 24 families 500 meters farther into Burma. These 91 people, having just finished rebuilding their new homes, were moved onto a steep slope in the middle of the rainy season. Currently, they are receiving no support from the Thai authorities, and are still at grave risk of being abused or killed by the Burmese military and its ally, the United Wa State Army..."]...Gratuitous cruelty to Shan State political prisoners and their families ["In 2005, various Shan State political leaders were arrested by the Burmese military authorities. Denied access to their lawyers, nine of them were tried and given absurdly long prison sentences. Hkun Htun Oo, the 64-year-old elected leader of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy was sentenced to 93 years in prison. His “crime” had been simply to advocate peacefully for political reform..."]...Promoting safe delivery at the border ["22-year-old Ying Hom Noan is a medic at the Wan Piang Fah clinic serving over 2,800 refugees at the Shan- Thai border. Originally from western Shan State, she came to the border at the age of 15 and received training in emergency obstetrics care at the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot. Since 2006 she has been running the “MOM” (Mobile Obstetric Maternal Health Workers) Project, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at Wan Piang Fah. SWAN interviewed her about her work..."]...Lives destroyed by false trafficking charges ["...SWAN recently assisted a woman who had served a sentence of nine and a half years in Burma for child trafficking, a crime of which she was completely innocent. This is her story..."]...An orphan’s story ["Five decades of civil war have left terrible scars on the peoples of Burma. One of the most cruel legacies is the high number of orphaned children, who have lost their parents not only in combat, but also through the systematic human rights violations committed by the Burma Army against civilian populations in ethnic areas. Such violations include forced portering, extrajudicial killing, torture and rape. In the fifteen schools which SWAN is running along the northern Thai border for over 2,000 children, about one out of every five children is an orphan..."]...Salween dam construction launched in southern Shan State ["Ignoring the potential negative impacts on the livelihoods of millions of ethnic people, the MDX Group Co Ltd of Thailand and Burma’s ruling regime, jointly launched the construction of the giant Tasang Dam on the Salween River in southern Shan State on 29 March 2007. The Burmese military authorities forced over 400 villagers from Mong Ton and Mong Pan to attend the dam construction launching ceremony, which was hosted by MDX..."]...Fears over imminent China-Burma oil and gas pipelines ["Residents of northern Shan State fear mass forced relocation to make way for oil and gas pipelines from the west Burma coast to southern China..."]...SWAN urges EU to impose stronger sanctions against the Burmese military regime - 12 Oct 07 ["SWAN has consistently called for economic sanctions against the Burmese military regime, and at this crucial time urges the European Union to impose strong new economic sanctions on the regime..."]...Lanna Action takes on the SPDC ["Lanna Action for Burma (LAB), made up of long time Burma pro-democracy campaigners in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand (Lanna), has been carrying out protest actions against the SPDC’s recent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators..."]
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (625K - OBL version; 5.02MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter September 2006 # 7
      Date of publication: September 2006
      Description/subject: Working towards change ["One of SWAN’s founding members, Khu (Teacher) Harn Noan, speaks of her life as a teacher, health worker and women’s rights activist along the Shan-Thai border..."]...Dealing with crisis ["“Without this centre, I would have no place to go in Thailand as I have no family or relatives,” said a pregnant woman who had been beaten regularly by her husband since only 4 days after marrying him. This is just one of the many cases that SWAN’s Women’s Crisis Support Centre has assisted since it was set up five years ago in northern Thailand. The centre has provided emergency support to women and children facing domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, exploitation, or simply lack of access to health care..."]...SPDC’s new anti-trafficking law: a further tool of oppression...The regime’s 2006 sexual offensive in Central Shan State...Controversial Salween dam plans continue...Experiencing Christmas good-will in Denmark...News Briefs: Licence to Rape published in Hindi; SWAN delivers key-note speech at launch of Cambodian Parliamentary Caucus on Burma; SWAN joins high-level Roundtable on Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (152K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org/
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter September 2005 # 6
      Date of publication: September 2005
      Description/subject: Shan refugee pushback raises high-level Thai concerns...SPDC manipulating women in Burma using MWAF ["...On 18 July, 2005, the Woman and Child Rights Project - Southern Burma and the Human Rights Foundation of Monland released a new report Catwalk to the B a r r a c k s exposing official conscription of “comfort women” by Burma Army troops and other evidence of systemic sexual violence in Mon areas of Burma...Ironically, the report came out soon after speakers at a ceremony held by the Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation (MWAF) to mark “Myanmar Women’s Day” in Moulmein were reported as stating emphatically “There is no sexual crime in Mon State.”..."]...“Ready for Action” at a SWAN school ["The Danish Foreign Ministry is supporting a project of the Danish Burma Committee (DBC) to raise funds for SWAN’s education program during the 2005 Christmas and New Year holiday season in Denmark. The project involved the production of a docudrama about the situation of children of Shan refugees surviving as migrant workers in northern Thailand..."]...Poisoned refuge ["Tens of thousands of Shan refugees have ended up working as migrant labourers in tangerine orchards in northern Thailand. The tangerine industry has boomed in the past ten years, now spreading over 125,000 acres of land in northern Chiang Mai province alone. Concerns have increasingly been raised about the environmental impacts of these orchards, particularly the overuse of highly toxic chemical pesticides, many of which are banned in other countries. However, most data has focussed on the impacts on the Thai villagers living around the orchards, who have suffered health problems mainly from chemical pollution of water sources. There have been no studies of the impacts of the chemicals on the Shan workers actually living in the orchards. SWAN interviewed a Shan refugee woman from Fang district of Chiang Mai about her experience working in a tangerine orchard..."]...News Briefs: Four women from Burma among nominees for Nobel Peace Prize; Concerns raised over expansion of WFP programs; China urged to reveal Salween dam impact studies.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (191K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter September 2004 # 5
      Date of publication: September 2004
      Description/subject: Behind the regime’s anti-trafficking facade...The “Underground” School ["Over three years ago, one of the SWAN members helped found a school for Shan State youth in Thailand. Against all odds, the school continues to flourish and fulfill a critical need for education..."]...Nationwide military sexual violence: Ongoing war against women and girls in Burma ["It has been more than two years since Licence to Rape was released, exposing the use of rape as a military strategy in Burma and triggering an international outcry. For the first time, the world started to take notice of the fact that women and girls in Burma, particularly in the ethnic states, have been suffering sexual violence committed by the regime’s troops and authorities for decades. Has there been any improvement in the lives of women and girls since then? Sadly, the answer is NO. The regime’s use of sexual violence has been ongoing, and recent reports from inside Burma have highlighted the continuing culture of impunity for military rapists..."]...Recognise us as refugees first - Shan refugees and repatriation ["As ceasefire talks have continued during 2004 between the Burmese military regime and the Karen National Union, contingency plans have been drawn up by international agencies for repatriation of the over 140,000 Karen and Karenni refugees in camps along the Thai-Burma border..."]...SWAN Program Update: Crisis Support Centre on the border; Women’s Empowerment Program; Internship Program...Young women taking the lead ["An interview with Ying Lao, aged 20, a member of SWAN’s training team. She has been conducting workshops for young Shan men and women on constitutions and federalism..."]
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (455K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org/
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter September 2003 # 4
      Date of publication: September 2003
      Description/subject: STILL LICENSED TO RAPE ["While world media has focused on the May 30 massacre and the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi in Central Burma, atrocities committed in Shan State at the same time have gone unnoticed..."]...International advocacy to Stop Licence to Rape...FLICKERS OF LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS SWAN’s Education Program ["Providing basic education for the refugee children along the Thai-Shan border is one of SWAN’s priorities. Currently, SWAN is supporting 11 schools, both along the border in de facto refugee settlements, and deeper inside Thailand for children of refugees surviving as migrant workers..."]...“RESCUE” OR ARREST? Concerns about anti-trafficking efforts...SWAN Program Update: Crisis Support on the border; Community Health Services; Licence To Rape translated into four languages; Expanding Internship Program...No to Rape, No to Dams on the Salween...News Briefs: Women’s League of Burma holds 2nd Congress; Aid watchdog in full swing...New hope for Shan refugees? ["Nearly one and a half years after fleeing from their homes in Shan State, about 400 refugees are still living in makeshift, communal huts near the border in Thailand’s northern Chiang Mai province. Yet, in comparison to the vast majority of Shan refugees, these refugees feel themselves lucky..."]...SWAN tackles refugee myths
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (285K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter September 2002 # 3
      Date of publication: September 2002
      Description/subject: Message from SWAN ["We have been overwhelmed by the worldwide support we have received since the publication of the report "Licence to Rape" in June of this year. We wish to express our deepest appreciation to our friends around the world who have put all their efforts into spreading our campaign internationally..."]...LICENCE TO RAPE...COMPLING LICENCE TO RAPE...BOOK LAUNCH OF THAI LICENCE TO RAPE...SWAN denounces Burmese regime's investigation into rape report as a sham...NEWS BRIEFS: Grassroots activists from Burma form aid watchdog; Women's League of Burma calls for UN fact-finding mission to investigate sexual violence; Thai-based regional NGOs launch "Petition To Stop Licence To Rape in Shan State, Burma"... WHAT IS A REFUGEE? A SWAN member relates her personal experience...SHAN REFUGEES IN LIMBO...SWAN'S CRISIS SUPPORT PROGRAM... Deadly neglect - Lack of reproductive rights is endangering the lives of Shan women...Salween Watch Update
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (75K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter July 2001 # 2
      Date of publication: July 2001
      Description/subject: MESSAGE FROM SWAN...Women of Strength - Teacher Mary - Her life and work...Granting the Right to Education...LEARNING TO SPEAK OUT - Interview with a SWAN intern...News Briefs: Thai officer rapist gets cut in benefits; Women’s League of Burma; “Human Rights in Practice” now in Burmese; Pesticides killing Shan refugees; Shans appeal to international community to join campaign against Salween dam
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (44K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


      Title: SWAN - Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter September 1999 # 1
      Date of publication: September 1999
      Description/subject: MESSAGE FROM SWAN: Introducing our organization; SWAN members open clinic... Against all odds (profile of Shan woman writer Nang Kham Gu)...Real Peace and Freedom - "In April 1999, Charm Thong, a 17-year-old SWAN member from the Shan-Thai border, attended the UN Commission on Human Rights session in Geneva. Here is her account of the experience..."...Networking with Thai NGOs to demand justice over rape of Shan migrants...Rape: Targeting the military...14-year-old girl raped and burned to death in Laikha...Save the Salween
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
      Format/size: pdf (50K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2010


  • Reports about women of Burma by source

    • Reports about women of Burma by national, regional and international NGOs

      Individual Documents

      Title: The Burden of War - Women bear burden of displacement
      Date of publication: 03 November 2012
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Worsening conflict and abuses by Burmese government troops in northern Shan State have displaced over 2,000 Palaung villagers from fifteen villages in three townships since March 2011. About 1,000, mainly women and children, remain in three IDP settlements in Mantong and Namkham townships, facing serious shortages of food and medicine; most of the rest have dispersed to find work in China. Burmese troops have been launching offensives to crush the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), to secure control of strategic trading and investment areas on the Chinese border, particularly the route of China’s trans-Burma oil and gas pipelines. In rural Palaung areas, patrols from sixteen Burma Army battalions and local militia have been forcibly conscripting villagers as soldiers and porters, looting livestock and property, and torturing and killing villagers suspected of supporting the resistance. This has caused entire villages to become abandoned. Interviews conducted by PWO in September 2012 show that the burden of displacement is falling largely on women, as most men have fled or migrated to work elsewhere. The ratio of women to men of working age in the IDP camps is 4:1. Women, including pregnant mothers, had to walk for up to a week through the jungle to reach the camps, carrying their children and possessions, and avoiding Burmese army patrols and landmines. Elderly people were left behind. Little aid has reached the IDP settlements, particular the largest camp housing over 500 in a remote mountainous area north of Manton, where shortages of water, food and medicines are causing widespread disease. Mothers are struggling to feed their families on loans of rice from local villagers, and have taken their daughters out of school. Some women have left children with relatives and gone to find work in China. PWO is calling urgently for aid to these IDPs, and for political pressure on Burma’s government to end its military offensives and abuses, pull back troops from conflict areas, and begin meaningful political dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (1.7MB-OBL version; 7.29MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://eng.palaungwomen.com/Report/The%20Burden%20of%20War.pdf'>http://eng.palaungwomen.com/Report/The%20Burden%20of%20War.pdf
      http://eng.palaungwomen.com
      Date of entry/update: 06 November 2012


      Title: Forgotten Workforce: Experiences of women migrants from Burma in Ruili, China (Burmese)
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Burma’s continuing political repression and economic deterioration, coupled with China’s rapid growth, have caused a new phenomenon over the past few years: large-scale northward migration from Burma to China. The Yunnanese border town of Ruili (called Shweli in Burmese) has seen an estimated tenfold increase in the number of migrants from Burma since 2006, with numbers now exceeding 100,000. Formerly mainly employed in the jade, transport and sex industries, migrants are now working in a range of sectors, including domestic work, restaurants and hotels, sales, construction and manufacturing industries. Migrants are arriving from all parts of central and eastern Burma, particularly from the central dry zone, where continuing drought has deprived farmers of their traditional livelihoods. In Sagaing and Magwe, whole villages are draining of young people coming to find work in China. A large proportion of the migrants are women. During 2010 the Burmese Women’s Union (BWU) conducted in-depth interviews with 32 of these women from various work sectors. Most were from Burma’s central divisions. About half were high school graduates, and some had even graduated from university, but none had been able to find jobs inside Burma. The migrant women interviewed by BWU in Ruili revealed persistent patterns of work exploitation, occupational health and safety hazards and mistreatment by employers throughout different work sectors. A particularly dangerous kind of work being carried out by migrant women in Ruili is processing of petrified wood, imported from Mandalay Division and sold as highly valued home ornaments throughout China. In hundreds of small workshops, women are paid a pittance to sit for long hours sanding and polishing wood, using hazardous electric equipment and chemical solvents, without protective clothing or health insurance. On top of general exploitative work conditions, women also face gender discrimination, receiving lower pay than men in most sectors, no maternity leave and benefits, and suffering sexual harassment from employers. Health and safety risks are particularly high for the several hundred Burmese women working in the sex industry in Ruili and Jiegao, who are often forced to have unprotected sex, and face violence from clients, especially those who are drug users There are no existing mechanisms for foreign migrant workers to seek redress for cases of exploitation and infringement of their rights. They also forbidden from organising any workers’ committees or unions. This has occasionally caused workers’ pent-up resentment to erupt into violence against employers. There are no signs that the migration from Burma will ease in the foreseeable future. Burma’s November 2010 elections were neither free nor fair, and power remains constitutionally firmly in the hands of the military, which continues to receive the lion’s share of the national budget, while health and education needs remain critically underfunded. During 2011 the Burma Army has launched fierce new offensives against ethnic resistance groups seeking to protect their communities and environment from damaging resource exploitation. The military mismanagement at the root of Burma’s economic woes thus looks sets to continue, together with the outflow of migration to neighbouring countries, including China. Mechanisms to protect the rights of foreign migrant workers and prevent further injustices, particularly against women in China are thus urgently needed."
      Language: Burmese
      Source/publisher: Burmese Women's Union (BWU)
      Format/size: pdf (1.8MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmesewomensunion.org
      Date of entry/update: 24 February 2012


      Title: Forgotten Workforce: Experiences of women migrants from Burma in Ruili, China (English)
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Burma’s continuing political repression and economic deterioration, coupled with China’s rapid growth, have caused a new phenomenon over the past few years: large-scale northward migration from Burma to China. The Yunnanese border town of Ruili (called Shweli in Burmese) has seen an estimated tenfold increase in the number of migrants from Burma since 2006, with numbers now exceeding 100,000. Formerly mainly employed in the jade, transport and sex industries, migrants are now working in a range of sectors, including domestic work, restaurants and hotels, sales, construction and manufacturing industries. Migrants are arriving from all parts of central and eastern Burma, particularly from the central dry zone, where continuing drought has deprived farmers of their traditional livelihoods. In Sagaing and Magwe, whole villages are draining of young people coming to find work in China. A large proportion of the migrants are women. During 2010 the Burmese Women’s Union (BWU) conducted in-depth interviews with 32 of these women from various work sectors. Most were from Burma’s central divisions. About half were high school graduates, and some had even graduated from university, but none had been able to find jobs inside Burma. The migrant women interviewed by BWU in Ruili revealed persistent patterns of work exploitation, occupational health and safety hazards and mistreatment by employers throughout different work sectors. A particularly dangerous kind of work being carried out by migrant women in Ruili is processing of petrified wood, imported from Mandalay Division and sold as highly valued home ornaments throughout China. In hundreds of small workshops, women are paid a pittance to sit for long hours sanding and polishing wood, using hazardous electric equipment and chemical solvents, without protective clothing or health insurance. On top of general exploitative work conditions, women also face gender discrimination, receiving lower pay than men in most sectors, no maternity leave and benefits, and suffering sexual harassment from employers. Health and safety risks are particularly high for the several hundred Burmese women working in the sex industry in Ruili and Jiegao, who are often forced to have unprotected sex, and face violence from clients, especially those who are drug users There are no existing mechanisms for foreign migrant workers to seek redress for cases of exploitation and infringement of their rights. They also forbidden from organising any workers’ committees or unions. This has occasionally caused workers’ pent-up resentment to erupt into violence against employers. There are no signs that the migration from Burma will ease in the foreseeable future. Burma’s November 2010 elections were neither free nor fair, and power remains constitutionally firmly in the hands of the military, which continues to receive the lion’s share of the national budget, while health and education needs remain critically underfunded. During 2011 the Burma Army has launched fierce new offensives against ethnic resistance groups seeking to protect their communities and environment from damaging resource exploitation. The military mismanagement at the root of Burma’s economic woes thus looks sets to continue, together with the outflow of migration to neighbouring countries, including China. Mechanisms to protect the rights of foreign migrant workers and prevent further injustices, particularly against women in China are thus urgently needed.
      Language: English and Burmese
      Source/publisher: Burmese Women's Union (BWU)
      Format/size: pdf (764K-English; 2.95-Burmese)
      Alternate URLs: http://womenofburma.org/Report/Forgotten-workforce-Bur.pdf
      http://www.burmesewomensunion.org
      Date of entry/update: 24 February 2012


      Title: Voices for Change: Domestic Violence and Gender Discrimination in the Palaung Area (Burmese)
      Date of publication: 25 November 2011
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report documents how women in the Palaung area are affected by domestic violence and gender discrimination. Survey results collected by PWO show that almost all respondents had experienced or seen physical violence within families in their community, and that physical violence is occurring with alarming frequency, in many cases on an almost daily basis. PWO’s research shows that gender discrimination is widespread in the Palaung area, and that many people’s attitudes conform to traditional gender stereotypes which assume that women must fulfil the role of homemaker and accept sole responsibility for childcare duties. Since the 2010 election, Burma’s military-backed regime has failed to take any effective action to promote women’s rights and gender equality, or to uphold its commitments to CEDAW. Burma remains one of only two ASEAN countries lacking a specific law criminalising domestic violence, and PWO’s research has found that there are no government-led projects to raise awareness of domestic violence and women’s rights in the rural areas of northern Shan State, where the vast majority of the Palaung population live. The ‘new’ regime has yet to address the economic and social crises fuelling domestic violence in the Palaung area. The economic crisis afflicting the Palaung people as a direct result of the state’s monopoly of the tea industry, as well as the increase in opium cultivation and addiction in the Palaung area since the 2010 election have directly contributed to the problem of domestic violence, as males resort to physical violence as a means of expressing their anger and frustration with their situation. More than five decades of civil war have bred a culture of male domination, fear, and violence in Burma. Palaung people, especially males, have been socialised into this culture, and see violence as a necessary means of asserting their authority over their wives, in the same way as the state uses violence to assert its authority over Burma’s ethnic nationalities. The regime appears to have no intention of bringing an end to Burma’s culture of violence, and continues to wage war against ethnic rebels in northern Shan State. 5 Domestic violence has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. Apart from the obvious physical impact of domestic violence, women also suffer psychologically. Domestic violence threatens the stability of the family unit, often has a negative impact on children’s education, and acts as an obstacle to community development. Burma’s military-backed regime needs to recognise domestic violence and gender discrimination as obstacles to achieving a peaceful society in Burma, and to embark upon a program of genuine political reform which addresses the social and economic factors fuelling domestic violence and gender discrimination."
      Language: Burmese
      Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization (PWO)
      Format/size: pdf (1.91MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungwomen.com
      Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


      Title: Voices for Change: Domestic Violence and Gender Discrimination in the Palaung Area (English)
      Date of publication: 25 November 2011
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report documents how women in the Palaung area are affected by domestic violence and gender discrimination. Survey results collected by PWO show that almost all respondents had experienced or seen physical violence within families in their community, and that physical violence is occurring with alarming frequency, in many cases on an almost daily basis. PWO’s research shows that gender discrimination is widespread in the Palaung area, and that many people’s attitudes conform to traditional gender stereotypes which assume that women must fulfi l the role of homemaker and accept sole responsibility for childcare duties. Since the 2010 election, Burma’s military-backed regime has failed to take any effective action to promote women’s rights and gender equality, or to uphold its commitments to CEDAW. Burma remains one of only two ASEAN countries lacking a specifi c law criminalising domestic violence, and PWO’s’ research has found that there are no government-led projects to raise awareness of domestic violence and women’s rights in the rural areas of northern Shan State, where the vast majority of the Palaung population live. The ‘new’ regime has yet to address the economic and social crises fuelling domestic violence in the Palaung area. The economic crisis affl icting the Palaung people as a direct result of the state’s monopoly of the tea industry, as well as the increase in opium cultivation and addiction in the Palaung area since the 2010 election have directly contributed to the problem of domestic violence, as males resort to physical violence as a means of expressing their anger and frustration with their situation. More than fi ve decades of civil war have bred a culture of male domination, fear, and violence in Burma. Palaung people, especially males, have been socialised into this culture, and see violence as a necessary means of asserting their authority over their wives, in the same way as the state uses violence to assert its authority over Burma’s ethnic nationalities. The regime appears to have no intention of bringing an end to Burma’s culture of violence, and continues to wage war against ethnic rebels in northern Shan State. 5 Domestic violence has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. Apart from the obvious physical impact of domestic violence, women also suffer psychologically. Domestic violence threatens the stability of the family unit, often has a negative impact on children’s education, and acts as an obstacle to community development. Burma’s military-backed regime needs to recognise domestic violence and gender discrimination as obstacles to achieving a peaceful society in Burma, and to embark upon a program of genuine political reform which addresses the social and economic factors fuelling domestic violence and gender discrimination."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organisation
      Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungwomen.com
      Date of entry/update: 25 January 2012


      Title: Walking Amongst Sharp Knives - The unsung courage of Karen women village chiefs in conflict areas of Eastern Burma
      Date of publication: February 2010
      Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "In lowland Karen areas in Eastern Burma women are increasingly taking on the role of village chief, as male village chiefs are more likely to be killed by the Burma Army. This change, overturning deeply engrained tradition, has put women further into the front line of human rights abuses being committed by the Burma Army and their allies. This report by the Karen Women Organization, based on the testimonies of 95 women chiefs, exposes for the first time the impacts of this dramatic cultural shift. The abuses experienced or witnessed by the women chiefs include: • Crucifixion • People burnt alive • Rape, including gang rape • Many forms of torture, including beatings and “water torture” • People buried up to their heads in earth and beaten to death • Arbitrary executions • Beheadings • Slave labour... Many of the abuses described in this report would appear to be in breach of international law, including five articles of the Rome Statute, of the International Criminal Court. The practice of electing women as village chiefs has spread through lowland Karen areas of Eastern Burma since the 1980s, as Burma’s military regime has expanded control and increased persecution of these war-torn communities. With men increasingly reluctant to risk their lives as chiefs, women have stepped in to assume leadership in the hope of mitigating abuses. However, testimonies of women chiefs show that, far from being exempt from the brutality of the Burma Army, they have faced ongoing systematic abuse, including gender-based violence. This report is based on interviews with women chiefs from five districts of Eastern Burma: Papun (Mutraw), Dooplaya, Thaton (Doo Tha Htu), Nyaunglebin (Kler Lwee Htu), and Pa-an. They are aged from 25 to 82. The average length of time they served as chiefs was nine years; about one third of the women are still serving as chiefs. The women chiefs not only describe their daily struggle to fulfill the constant demands of the Burma Army for labour, food, building materials, “taxes” and intelligence, but also testify to their systematic use of terror tactics to subjugate villagers and prevent them from cooperating with the Karen resistance. Apart from bearing witness to numerous instances of abuse and murder of fellow-villagers, the chiefs themselves have suffered brutal punishment for alleged non-cooperation. One third of the women interviewed had been physically beaten or tortured. The women also testify to ongoing impunity for sexual violence. They describe incidents of gang-rape, rape of girl-children and rape-murder for which they were unable to seek redress. They also describe being forced to provide “comfort women” for the Burma Army troops. The women chiefs’ own vulnerability to gender-based violence has been deliberately exploited by the Burma Army as a means of intimidation. Rape of women chiefs was described as common, and several chiefs described being gang-raped. Pregnant and nursing women chiefs were also subjected to forced labour and grueling interrogation. Despite the constant threat of violence, the women’s stories reveal their extraordinary strength and courage in assuming leadership and seeking to protect the rights of their communities. They have repeatedly dared to challenge and complain to Burma Army troops about abuses and in some cases managed to secure compensation and even rescinding of unjust orders. The women chiefs have also suffered great personal stress from being unable to fulfill their traditional household roles and care for their families. Several were blamed by their husbands for being “married to the SPDC” because they had to follow their orders. This report provides poignant insight into the challenges of women assuming leadership in a patriarchal and militarized society. The KWO hopes that this report will help bring recognition of these brave women for their sacrifices not only at the front line of abuses by Burma’s military dictatorship, but at the forefront of the struggle for gender equality in Burma..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Women's Organization
      Format/size: pdf (2.31MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/WalkingAmongstSharpKnives.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 25 February 2010


      Title: Do dreams come true? ‘Illegal’ young female Shan refugees in Northern Thailand: coping with contradicting (in)securities.
      Date of publication: June 2009
      Description/subject: "...This thesis consists out of seven chapters. The next chapter on theory will address important political and theoretical debates within the arena of displacement and refugee studies. Chapter three will present the methodological approach taken within the research. Chapters four and five are the data chapters of this thesis addressing various layers of insecurities through thematic chapters. The chapters are based on the most important themes that arose during fieldwork. How young Shan women first reacted to state terror, and the impact of this on their daily lives, is highlighted in chapter four. Chapter five will explain what it means to be a young Shan female, revealing the daily life practices and the influences they have on life chances and future aspirations. Finally, I shall conclude by referring to the debates discussed within the theory chapter. The key words of this research are displacement, young female Shan refugees, future aspirations and human (in)security..."
      Author/creator: Ursula Cats
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Masters Thesis - Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
      Format/size: pdf (4.9 - original version; 2.4 - OBL version)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/MASTER-THESIS-Final-version1-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 15 September 2010


  • Sex work

    Individual Documents

    Title: A Downward Spiral in Jiegao (story and photos)
    Date of publication: April 2010
    Description/subject: Drawn by dreams of jobs, many Burmese women end up selling sex and doing drugs on the Chinese border... "Jiegao, a small thumb of land jutting into Burma from the Chinese side of the Sino-Burmese border, is an easy place to fall into a life of suffering. Slide Show (View) There are more than 20 brothels in this otherwise unremarkable border town, and most of the sex workers are from Burma. They come to find work in factories and restaurants or as maids, but soon discover that well-paid jobs are few and far between. In order to pay off debts and support themselves, many have little choice but to take up prostitution. The life of a migrant worker in China is precarious, and for those in the sex industry, the risks are all the greater. Although Burmese citizens can get three-month residency permits to live in Chinese towns along the border, prostitution is illegal in China, and sex workers live in constant fear of arrest. The price of freedom, if they are caught, is typically 500 yuan (US $73)—a lot of money for a prostitute charging 14 to 28 yuan ($2-4) a trick, or 150 yuan ($22) for a night with a customer, especially when you consider that at least half of this amount goes to the brothel’s owner..."
    Author/creator: Than Aung
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
    Format/size: html, Gif
    Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=18220
    Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010


    Title: For Sex Workers, A Life of Risks
    Date of publication: 25 February 2010
    Description/subject: RANGOON, Feb 25, 2010 (IPS) - When Aye Aye (not her real name) leaves her youngest son at home each night, she tells him that she has to work selling snacks. But what Aye actually sells is sex so that her 12-year-old son, a Grade 7 student, can finish his education.
    Author/creator: Mon Mon Myat
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: IPS
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 02 November 2010


    Title: Desolation Road
    Date of publication: July 2009
    Description/subject: Some poor country girls survive by turning tricks with truck drivers doing the lonely overnight run between Mandalay and Taunggyi
    Author/creator: Ko Htwe
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 4
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


    Title: Sex and the (Burmese) City
    Date of publication: July 2008
    Description/subject: One area of the economy where Cyclone Nargis caused prices to drop... RANGOON — "THEY’re known fancifully as nya-hmwe-pan, or “fragrant flowers of the night,” although the reality of after-dark life for Rangoon’s increasing number of prostitutes isn’t so romantic. The number of “fragrant flowers” walking the streets and working the bars of Burma’s major city has reportedly soared since Cyclone Nargis ripped into the Irrawaddy delta and tore families apart. The arrival of desperate young women ready to trade their bodies for the equivalent of two or three dollars has depressed Rangoon prices still further, and the new girls on the block face not only police harassment but the hostility of the “old timers.” One afternoon in central Rangoon, I went hunting for an interview subject in one of the city’s main thoroughfares, Bogyoke Aung San Street. I didn’t have far to look..."
    Author/creator: Aung Thet Wine
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 7
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 15 July 2008


    Title: The Vanishing Lady Tycoon
    Date of publication: July 2005
    Description/subject: Stories of murder and mayhem abound in Kachin State’s casino town... "Welcome to the Macao of northern Burma: Maija Yang, once a backward Kachin State border village but now a bustling boom town with more than a dozen casinos catering to Chinese gamblers sidelined by restrictions in their own country. The frontier-style administration of Maija Yang, 160km north of the Kachin capital Myitkyina, is effectively in the hands of the Kachin Independence Organization, which is said to earn around 8.5 million yuan (more than US $1 million) annually from the Chinese-run casinos. Prostitution, drugs and alcohol probably net the town even more money. The first of the casinos was built four years ago under a KIO development program originally intended to provide local people, traditionally reliant on the opium trade, with an alternative source of income. The high-minded plan went awry, however—the casinos employ mostly Chinese staff, and the drugs problem is only getting worse..."
    Author/creator: Khun Sam
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 7
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


    Title: Karaoke Nights
    Date of publication: May 2005
    Description/subject: Rangoon girls swap the sweatshop for a hands-on job... "Owners of karaoke bars in Burma these days really have something to sing about. While other business sectors flounder in Burma’s moribund economy, most karaoke joints—known as KTV—are humming, their cash registers are playing sweet music. On a typical night in downtown Rangoon, the Royal is crowded with men looking for more than a song and with young women whose talents anyway couldn’t be described as vocal...Linn Linn, a 31-year-old widow with two children to support, has worked at several karaoke clubs, one of which, she says, was owned by a senior police officer and five businessmen. Club owners often invite government officials along for some “relaxation,” she claims. Linn Linn worked in a Rangoon brothel until a 2002 police crackdown on prostitution. Since then she has been employed by a string of karaoke bars, conceding that sex as well as songs are on the menu. About 50 karaoke girls were arrested in a second police crackdown, in 2003, on nightclubs suspected of doubling as brothels. Linn Linn escaped arrest, but she admits it might be only a matter of time before the next police raid puts her out of work. “What else can I do?” she says. “I have two children to support. Everything is so expensive now and the cost of living just rises and rises. I’ve no other way to make money other than continue in the karaoke trade.”..."
    Author/creator: Ko Jay
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 5
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


    Title: Burma a la Mode - Prostitution is dressed-up and paraded in the nightclubs of Rangoon.
    Date of publication: October 2003
    Description/subject: "...An old elevator door creaks open and seven women walk through the rooftop restaurant cum nightclub on a wet Friday night in Rangoon. A few wear long shiny red raincoats and sunglasses, others have fedoras tilted to hide their eyes, and some walk with children by their side. Despite the urbane camouflage it’s easy to see the women are all tall, thin and gorgeous. They move quickly towards the dressing rooms backstage, past tables of middle-aged men drinking glasses of Myanmar Beer and a woman singing John Denver’s "Take Me Home, Country Roads" over the deafening roar of a synthesizer. Within minutes the music dies down, stage lights flash on and the seven women appear onstage to the first few strains of a Brittany Spears tune. The men in the crowd clap, cheer and ogle as the ladies strut in tight-fitting slinky black and white bell-bottomed outfits..."
    Author/creator: Chris O’Connell
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 8
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 06 December 2003


    Title: Wooing Women Workers
    Date of publication: October 2003
    Description/subject: "Crackdowns on Burmese migrants in Thailand push many women into the flesh trade... When 22-year-old Sandar Kyaw first arrived in Thailand from Burma two months ago, she worked 12-hour days, sewing clothing in one of the many garment factories around the border town of Mae Sot. Now she sits in a hot, dimly lit room in a brothel, watching TV with her co-workers, and waiting for a man to pay 500 baht (US $12.50) for one hour of sex with her. With six younger siblings and her parents struggling to make ends meet in Rangoon, making money is her main priority. "I want to save 10,000 baht and go home," she says. Since factory wages for illegal Burmese migrants average roughly 2,000 baht per month, saving such a sum on her sewing wages would have taken months. When her friend suggested they leave the factory for the more lucrative brothel, Sandar Kyaw agreed. Since she retains half her hourly fee, just one customer a day can net her three times her factory wage..."
    Author/creator: Kevin R. Manning
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 11, No. 8
    Format/size: html
    Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddymedia.com/article.php?art_id=3128
    Date of entry/update: 06 December 2003


    Title: Sex for Export
    Date of publication: February 2001
    Description/subject: The flesh trade is flourishing along the Thai-Burma border, where the wages of cheap sex are adding to the toll taken by decades of poverty and military conflict. Tachilek, a border town in the Burmese sector of the Golden Triangle, has a reputation for many things, few of them good. Most recently in the media spotlight as the center of a pitched battle between Thai, Burmese and ethnic insurgent forces that has claimed lives on both sides of the border, Tachilek is best known as a major conduit for opium and methamphetamines flowing out of Burma. It also has a Thai-owned casino and a thriving black market in everything from pirated VCDs to tiger skins and Burmese antiques. But stroll across the Friendship Bridge from Mae Sai, Thailand, and would-be guides will waste no time making sure you don’t miss the main attraction. "Phuying, phuying," they whisper in Thai, clutching photos of Tachilek’s very own Shwedagon pagoda and other local sights. "Phuying, suay maak," they repeat: "Girls, very beautiful."
    Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 2
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Victims Or Players?
    Date of publication: February 2001
    Description/subject: "Are young Burmese girls working in the brothels of Thailand victims or players in the lucrative sex trade? Perhaps a look at two typical cases can shed light on this question..."
    Author/creator: Aung Zaw in Mae Sai, Chiang Mai & Min Zin in Ranong
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 2
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: "MIGRATING WITH HOPE": Burmese Women Working in Thailand and The Sex Industry
    Date of publication: July 1997
    Description/subject: "...This report, "Migrating With Hope: Burmese Women Working In Thailand and The Sex Industry" attempts to present and highlight the needs, interests, and realities of undocumented migrant women from Burma working as sex-workers in Thailand. We look at the lives of women in Burma, the migration processes, processes of entry into the sex-industry, and factors which govern women's wellbeing or suffering during the time of migration in Thailand. The authors hope that the documentation presented will provide useful information to prospective migrants from Burma. We also hope that it can be used to instigate programmes to protect the rights of and to provide the necessary services for undocumented migrant workers, and by doing this, prevent more Burmese women from being exploited. This report is written in the knowledge that women can become empowered to make informed choices about their lives. It is also hoped that this report will provide the general public with information not only about Burmese migrant women, but also about the situation of undocumented migrant workers who flee from Burma, a country ruled by a military regime..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Images Asia
    Format/size: pdf (284K)
    Date of entry/update: 19 May 2005


  • Women's rights

    Individual Documents

    Title: Asian Development Bank Interim Country Partnership Strategy: Myanmar, 2012-2014 GENDER ANALYSIS (SUMMARY)
    Date of publication: September 2012
    Description/subject: A. Progress and Key Challenges: 1. Myanmar ranks 96 out of 146 countries in the 2011 Gender Inequality Index (GII), ahead of Cambodia and Lao PDR, ranked 99 and 107, respectively. 1 It has achieved gender parity in education with regard to enrollment ratios of girls and boys in primary and secondary education. However, disaggregated analysis points to gender disparities in some of the poorest rural areas. 2 Women in Myanmar enjoy equal rights in inheritance laws and equal marital property rights in the case of divorce. However, patriarchal cultural values related to women’s roles and responsibilities still shape familial relationships, contribute to the gendered division of labour and limit women’s participation in decision making at all levels. Key issues of concern include: high maternal mortality ratio and insufficient access to reproductive and basic health services; low levels of women’s participation in public decision making and in the labour market, increasing HIV among women and lack of reliable and sex-disaggregated data across all sectors which hampers evidence-based policy and programme interventions. Gender disparities are more marked in rural areas and amongst some ethnic groups...Education...Health...Water and Sanitation...Electricity...Economic empowerment...Public decision-making ["In Myanmar, only 4% of parliamentary seats are held by women..."]...Gender based violence...Institutional Assessment...ADB Gender Strategy...
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    Format/size: pdf (54K)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/mya-interim-gender.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 28 September 2012


    Title: Discrimination against women
    Date of publication: August 2008
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Online Burma Library
    Format/size: html. pdf
    Date of entry/update: 05 August 2008