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PROMISES NOT PROGRESS: Burma’s National Plan for Women Falls Short of Gender Equality and CEDAW

Executive Summary In late 2013, the Government of Burma/Myanmar (“the Government”) issued a National Strategic Action Plan for the Advancement of Women 2013-2022 (NSPAW) based in part on its obligations under the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Heralded as a “historic and essential step towards substantive equality between women and men,” NSPAW was […]

“If they had hope, they would speak”

The ongoing use of state-sponsored sexual violence in Burma’s ethnic communities   EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In January 2014, the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) published a report which demonstrated the systematic use of rape by the Burma Army as a strategy to subjugate communities across the country. We documented over a hundred cases of sexual violence in the years since […]


Nationwide Patterns of Sexual Violence by the Military Regime’s Army and Authorities in Burma 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 […]

Same Impunity, Same Patterns (Sexual abuses by the Burma Army will not stop until there is a genuine civilian government)

Executive Summary Almost a decade ago, the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) denounced systematic patterns of sexual crimes committed by the Burma Army against ethnic women and demanded an end to the prevailing system of impunity. Today WLB is renewing these calls. Three years after a nominally civilian government came to power; state-sponsored sexual violence continues to […]

Pushed to the Brink (Conflict and human trafficking on the Kachin-China border)

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 […]

The Case for Anti‐Violence Against Women Laws

Executive Summary Gender equality recognizes that while women and men are physically different, they are entitled to the same opportunities for self realization and the same human dignity. Enhancing women’s security, establishing institutional practices and laws that do not reinforce power imbalances, and providing appropriate mechanisms for redress ‐‐ are essential elements to ensure equality. Whilst laws and policies may state formally that men and […]

Developing Anti-Violence Against Women Laws

Background In early 2011, the Department of Social Welfare indicated that it wanted to commence the process of drafting new laws to prevent violence against women (VAW) in Myanmar. Current laws, including descriptions in the Penal Code (1861), indicate that offences involving sexual and gender-based violence do not adequately address women’s experiences of violence, or reflect the contemporary values of Myanmar society. Additionally, legislative […]

Forgotten Workforce

Report published by the Burmese Women’s Union (2012) – Experiences of women migrants from Burma in Ruili, China. Filmed and Edited by Maw Eh Wah