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Hidden Strengths, Hidden Struggles: Women’s testimonies from southeast Myanmar

August 3rd, 2016  •  Author:   Karen Human Rights Group  •  2 minute read
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This report presents women’s testimonies in respect of various issues during the reporting period of January 2012 to March 2016. These issues include the dangers posed to women by the presence of armed actors in communities; the effects of land confiscation and development projects on women’s livelihoods; women’s access to healthcare and education; the continued occurrence of gender-based violence; and the harms caused by landmines; forced labour; arbitrary taxation and extortion. Importantly, women’s actions and agency in the face of abuse and injustice are also documented in this report. These agency strategies are documented to highlight women’s actions as women are not passive recipients of abuse.


The time period covered in Hidden Strengths, Hidden Struggles, January 2012 to March 2016, was characterised by dramatic and substantial changes in Myanmar, including the political reform process; the 2012 preliminary ceasefire agreement between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Government of Myanmar; the 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA); and the November 2015 general election, in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory, marking a change of course from the previous reign of consecutive military-backed governments.

This report comes ten years after KHRG published Dignity in the Shadow of Oppression, an extensive report highlighting the abuse and agency of Karen women in southeast Myanmar, in a highly militarised context during the conflict period. Hidden Strengths, Hidden Struggles revisits perspectives and abuses explored in that report, as well as new ones identified by KHRG community members, and sheds light on the situation for women in the present context. KHRG launches this report at a time when women’s issues, both in Myanmar and globally, are gaining momentum, and women are increasingly asserting their right to be considered as equal stakeholders in Myanmar’s future.


Download the full report in English here.

Download the briefer in English here.

အစီရင္ခံစာ အျပည့္အစုံ ျမန္မာဘာသာကုိ ဤေနရာတြင္ ရယူႏုိင္သည္။

အစီရင္ခံစာ အက်ဥ္းခ်ဳပ္ ျမန္မာဘာသာကုိ ဤေနရာတြင္ ရယူႏုိင္သည္။

အစီရင္ခံစာ အက်ဥ္းခ်ဳပ္ ကရင္ဘာသာကုိ ဤေနရာတြင္ ရယူႏုိင္သည္။