Myanmar Women Human Rights defenders sent appeal letter to Global Women Leaders (generation equality cohort) initiated by Georgetown University Institute for Women Peace and Security And Noble Women’s Initiative.


Dear Admirable Sisters,

We, as women human rights defenders in Burma/Myanmar, are sending this letter of appeal to you in the hopes that you can show your solidarity with the women and men of Burma/Myanmar and raise your voice in support of our shared humanity and fundamental freedoms. This week has served as a particularly horror of the absolute power the military regime in Burma/Myanmar wields, as so many lives have been lost to violence at the hands of security forces commanded by the military coup leaders.

As you know, the military seized power in a coup, overthrowing the democratically elected government on 1st February 2021. Since 5th February 2021, millions of peaceful protestors have packed the streets of the country’s cities and towns lending their bodies and voices in support of the restoration of democracy and human rights. The 22222 (22.2.2021) Spring Revolution witnessed a record-breaking number of demonstrators come out onto the streets together to peacefully express their dissent and call for a better future.  This peaceful protest movement, together with the civil disobedience movement, has seen women taking on a range of critical leadership roles and the number of women demonstrators has been estimated to be 60% of the total protestors.

Security forces have responded with violence to this resistance movement. As of today, there are at least 48 unarmed protesters have lost their lives since the coup – whilst the exact death figures are yet to be confirmed, six [1] women and girls are among them and it very well may be more - by the security forces. Many others are being arbitrarily detained and at high risks of violence, harassment, and sexual assault with limited to no legal protections. This military is the same military, unreformed and unrepentant, that has committed widely documented sexual violence and other atrocity crimes against ethnic people across the country, including the Chin, Kachin, Karen, Mon, Shan & others, and Rohingya. 


At this hour of need in Burma/Myanmar, we respectfully ask that you speak out for the urgent protection of women and girls in Burma/Myanmar the restoration of democracy, and the immediate release of all detainees, including political leaders. We request you to support with issuing a joint statement of globally prominent women leaders, considering the following messages:

  • To urge the United Nations, ASEAN, regional governments and the international community to take immediate action against the military coup and in support of the protection of civilians by all possible means, including via the United Nations Security Council;
  • To urge all governments not to legitimate or support the military regime as the Government of “Burma/Myanmar” and to do everything possible to limit the revenue they are able to accrue and access via their network of business interests.
  •  To urge all concerned parties to immediately stop the assaults, harassment and abusive tactics against women protestors and release all those arbitrarily detained
  • To pressure to institute a comprehensive global arms embargo on Burma/ Myanmar, to end the direct and indirect supply sale or transfer of all weapons and other military equipment that may be used for training, intelligence and military assistance. Further, the embargo must guarantee monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.


Myanmar Women Human Rights Defenders

  1. Women’s League of Burma (WLB)
  • WLB was founded in 1999 as an umbrella organization comprised of 13 grassroots women’s organizations of different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds from Burma/Myanmar.


  1. Gender Equality Network (GEN)
  • GEN is a diverse and inclusive network of 109 CSOs/NGOs, INGOs and individuals working to bring about gender equality and the fulfilment of women’s rights in Myanmar since May 2008.


  1. Women Organizations Network (WON)
  • WON is a network of 30 organizations set up to support community women’s groups across Myanmar since 2008.


  1. CEDAW Action Myanmar (CAM)
  • CAM composed of 15 local organizations and interested individuals, was organized and established in 2011 with the main purpose to monitor and encourage the Government of Myanmar to take into account its commitment on gender equality.


  1. Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process (AGIPP)
  • AGIPP is formed in August 2014 with 7 networks and organizations focusing on women’s rights, gender justice and the peace process.



[1] Source: DVB TV News