Gender


In preparation for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, women’s rights organizations are hosting a singing contest to raise community awareness about the issue.

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In a two-day peace meeting, women’s organisations agreed that civilians must collaboratively demand a halt to recent offensives as well as more gender-inclusive peace negotiations.

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Ever since I was able to speak and became conscious of my own actions, I remember telling my mom that I wished I were a boy. This wasn’t astonishing because you would always find me as the only girl among the boys, playing games only boys would play. Besides, most of my close friends and playmates were boys. My parents happily allowed this until I started middle school.

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The Myanmar rural women’s network May Doe Kabar was created one year ago, on October 15, International Rural Women’s Day. The journey over the past year has been exciting. We have held talks on gender-based violence across the country, co-developed and launched a mobile phone application, and organised training to help women generate income. We have come a long way and we know we have a long way to go.

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Women’s rights activists have called on the government to consider the needs of women in its delivery of public services while also increasing its budget for women, and enacting and enforcing laws and policies to protect and promote their rights.

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Burma’s progress in achieving gender equality was under the spotlight in Naypyidaw on Friday during a review of the country’s National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women.

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When photos of the brutal scars and bent bones of two teenage maids went viral on social media earlier this month, they launched on outpouring of public criticism directed at the rights body responsible for investigating the case. Instead of immediately imprisoning the culprits behind the shocking abuse, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission brokered a financial settlement and allegedly then washed its hands of the case, considering the complaint resolved.

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Married women in Burma give birth to five children on average and detailed findings of the country’s 2014 census highlight the lack of education, need for family planning, and the continued hardship that many women within the country face.

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Last week photos emerged of two girls who were tortured in a tailor shop. One girl was burnt, stabbed and had her fingers broken. The girls were aged 11 and 12 when they were sent to work in the shop. Their working conditions deteriorated rapidly and they were held like slaves for five years.

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Initial analysis of the gender balance at the recent 21st-century Panglong Conference offers some fascinating insights into attitudes toward women among different sectors of those involved in the country’s peace process.

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Shin Thant is an activist working with Colors Rainbow, an NGO advocating for the rights of Myanmar’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

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The 21st Century Panglong Conference was intended to be inclusive of all sectors of society. But one voice has been conspicuous by its absence from the peace talks – that of women.

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The much-heralded Union Peace Conference is finally here and delegates from across Myanmar and the world are gathering in Nay Pyi Taw for an event that recalls the negotiations of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s beloved father with ethnic minority leaders almost seven decades ago.

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Aye Thada Hla is a communications coordinator of the Gender Equality Network comprising more than 100 local and international civil society organisations, all of which are committed to improving women’s rights and addressing gender inequality in Myanmar.

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Being transgender can mean a world of possible gender identities, where people move from one gender to another and can also put aside the choice of male and female for one of “third gender”. Across Asia, including in Myanmar, many societies have a place for a third gender identity, and increasingly they are legally recognised too.

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Last month, Phyu Phyu made a life-changing decision that few women in Myanmar dare to take in her situation: the 38-year-old mother of two left the family home in Yangon’s Thingangyun Township to escape her abusive husband.

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Four years after a preliminary ceasefire agreement was reached in southeastern Burma’s Karen State, rights advocates say that women are far from reaching equal treatment despite demonstrable improvements.

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Delegates from ethnic political parties and women groups are to be invited to the plenary ethnic armed groups’ summit scheduled to be held from July 26 to 29 at Mai Ja Yang, Kachin State.

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It has been a bad week for Muslim-hating misogynist monk U Wirathu. First the vessel for religious hate and discrimination known as Ma Ba Tha, which he has championed as it pushed its hardline nationalist agenda, was disowned by the country’s principal Buddhist authority, the Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee.

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As a United Nations committee reviewing Burma’s compliance with an international convention on women’s rights prepares to submit its conclusions this week, women’s groups from the country said they were encouraged by the new government’s receptivity to their input, but worried about its stance on some of the issues.

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