This International Women’s Day, we, the Women’s Peace Network, would like to express our gratitude to all the women across the world who stand up for their rights and fight for equality, peace, justice and freedom.
For a more just world, these women have risked their lives to dismantle the system of patriarchy and oppression underpinning our society. We take this day to remember them and remind ourselves of their legacy.
Today, also marks over a year since the Myanmar military toppled an elected government, intensifying its decades-long campaign of terror against our country’s people.
Despite losing over 90 women to the junta, at least 1,600 to arbitrary arrest and detention, and hundreds of thousands more to forced displacement, we continue to risk our lives for full equality and self-determination.
Ethnic minority communities know the Myanmar military’s hatred of us all too well: for generations, its forces have committed mass atrocity crimes, including the most egregious forms of sexual and gender-based violence, across our homelands.
Amid its genocide against Rohingya, the military has weaponised sexual violence to strategically destroy our country’s ethnic minority and indigenous group. The victims and survivors of such atrocities await justice to this day.
We are thus working tirelessly to defeat this patriarchal regime that only serves to subjugate us. In Myanmar and beyond, many of us know that our collective future rests upon a truly inclusive and democratic system that holds perpetrators of all forms of injustice accountable.
This International Women’s Day, we ask you to remember and celebrate these brave women not just today but every day.
At Women’s Peace Network, we stand in solidarity with our fellow women and fight to ensure that the Myanmar military is held accountable for its heinous crimes. When this justice is served, we will embrace our victory.
Until then, we ask you to join our fight. We will never be free until all of us are free.