Burma’s Regime Prevents International Women’s Day
By Network Media Group
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Women’s organisations in Burma were unable to organise any major activities for International Women’s Day under the coup, but small events on 8 March were held in displaced camps in the jungle and elsewhere.
“It’s a big challenge for us to organise women’s activities for this year,” Zu Zue, joint secretary of the Burmese Women’s Union (BWU) told NMG. She said fighting in Karenni State and the Bago Region prevented large gatherings.
“Even though there is no intensified fighting in Irrawaddy Region, (another) one of our target regions, local organisers are not able to gather people in one place because there is no security guarantee for us,” Zu Zue said. Travelling is also dangerous and many areas are under martial law, which prohibits gatherings.
“The Burma army is threatening peace, justice and women’s safety,” said Nang Moh Moh, general secretary of the Women’s League of Burma. “Women live in fear and without food rations”, abuses that have worsened in recent years. Only when the army no longer violates these “human rights” can we “achieve peace and security”.
Zu Zue said that women, children and disabled people suffer a lot from the conflict especially when they have to flee to the jungle or displaced camps. And sometimes they have to shelter from shelling in a bunker.
Last February, at least 15 women were killed by shelling and 35 were arrested. Since the coup just over two years ago, 3,125 women have been arrested across Burma.
In 2001, women launched the Women’s Sarong Revolution campaign across Burma on International Women’s Day, risking their lives as the army violently suppressed peaceful protests.
In the northern Thai city of Chaing Mai, women organised some activities on International Women’s Day this year.