A women’s only resistance group to fight against military in Myanmar

A women’s only resistance group to fight against military in Myanmar

“The reason I joined a women’s only resistance group is to show that women can do what men are doing.”

Women in Myanmar have long participated in armed resistance movements. The country has seen some of the largest ethnic armed organisations carry hundreds of women. Case in point: Naw Zipporah Sein is a female member of an ethnic armed group. She served as the lead negotiator during talks that led to a ceasefire agreement in 2015.

Women have played a prominent role in the protest movement that emerged after army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power.

Garment factory workers were among the first to take to the streets. Women continue to march on the front lines of pro-democracy demonstrations. They are calling for ethnic minority rights.

Women in Myanmar want to destroy the military dictatorship. They want to change the traditional gender norms and ensure women play an equal role in building a new nation.

Some women have chosen to use their feminine power as a tool against the patriarchy. Some have waved flags made of sarongs, affixed coup leader Min Aung Hlaing’s image to sanitary pads. Others have strung sarongs, knickers and used sanitary pads across streets to mock and humiliate oppressors.

The young teacher from Sagaing region used to wear a long sarong called a htamein. Now, she is a member of the Myaung Women Warriors, Myanmar’s first publicly announced all-female fighter group. She told Al Jazeera, “The reason I joined a women’s only resistance group is to show that women can do what men are doing.”

The Myaung Women Warriors is one of the hundreds of armed resistance groups which have emerged across the country since the military coup.


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