Today marks the first sitting day of Myanmar’s new parliament. The number of women MPs has more than doubled. Many of these MPs have strong ties to the country’s growing women’s rights movement, raising new hopes for laws and policies that promote gender equality.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women | Shan Human Rights Foundation Update
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. To commemorate, we are sharing this update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation highlighting ongoing impunity of sexual violence in Burma and photos from Shan Women’s Action Network below.
The Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) has documented eight cases of sexual violence committed by Burmese government troops in southern and eastern Shan State since April 2015, all in so-called “ceasefire” areas. These cases reveal continuing patterns of impunity, and highlight that ongoing militarization and offensives by the Burma Army despite ceasefires are a key factor threatening women’s security in ethnic areas.
The most recent crime took place on November 5, 2015, near a village in Ke See township. A 32-year-old woman was gang-raped by about 10 soldiers while her husband was tied up under their farm hut. This took place during the current offensive by the Burma Army against the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army-North (SSPP/SSA-N). Despite an existing bilateral ceasefire, the government has since last month deployed 20 battalions, heavy artillery, and fighter aircraft to seize SSPP/SSA-N areas, committing abuses against civilians and causing displacement of over 10,000 villagers.