In the seven months which have now passed since the junta’s attempted coup, the people of Burma/Myanmar have been forced to endure multiple grievances, all of which have taken a toll on the state’s economy and socio-political affairs. The whole country has been pushed back to living under constant threads and insecurity. The military has used all forms of violence including arrest, killing, torture and sexual assault to suppress any actions taken against the coup. The junta also employs state-controlled media to defame women who have joined resistance forces. The junta’s spokesperson in particular has used sexist and patriarchal language against these brave women in an attempt to discredit them.
After the arrest, the people continue to suffer from the violence during the interrogation process and in detention. Three dozen civilians have already been tortured to death following interrogations by the military. Many died within 24 hours of being tortured. Eighty- two percent of those in detention are in locations that the junta has not disclosed. At this moment, it is impossible to know how many more women and children are being abused under the scrutiny and increased surveillance of the junta.
Women face various challenges as they face the onslaught of the pandemic in the midst of the coup and crippling internal conflict. Female health workers are under attack as they join the hundreds forced to go underground as the junta seeks out medical professionals with any connection to the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).