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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