Myanmar: Fear for Safety and Security of Women Parliamentarians and Civil Society Leaders

The Myanmar Ambassador to the UN, U Kyaw Moe Tun, was fired soon after he made an inspiring and praiseworthy appeal to the International Community for help to restore democracy. This action shows not only the extent of the military power that is being exercised against high-ranking government representatives but also it highlights the invisibility of brutality that is underway against pro-democracy civil leadership.

The immense bravery of political and civil society leaders that led them to structures of power and empowerment post 2015 elections proved to be short lived only till the next election held in 2020.

The 1st February Coup has made Myanmar again an insecure and an isolated place. Cordoned-off under military dictatorship, people in Myanmar are once getting organized for their pro-democracy quest, demanding respect for their vote and asking the International Community for support.

It is high time that the world acknowledges that the female political and civil society leaders, who since 2015 have been so positive about the era of difficulties being over and the epoch of democracy beginning, are once again facing the fear of hard times ahead.

Having observed the elections in 2015, supported by the Dutch Embassy in Myanmar, Gender Concerns International launched a series of post-election activities in collaboration with national institutions and it supported partnership with women and other civil society organisations.

The teams and experts were deployed to train parliamentarians to facilitate interaction among women organizations, national institutions, and the parliamentarians. People were motivated as the scope for democracy had become real, and they were hopeful of the opportunities that this would bring.

The protests in Myanmar have shown that the urge for democracy and civilian rule is as high as it was ever in Myanmar and the International Community must play its role urgently. Gender Concerns International expresses its continued support to the democracy movement and pledges its commitment to strengthening the national institution and civil society organisations in Myanmar.