Humanitarian Action & Decision-Making
Launched in 2020, the Young Women Leader for Peace chapter in Myanmar works with local young women, male gender equality allies, and LGBTQIA+ youth, particularly from Yangon, Karen, Shan, Kachin, and Rakhine states with a focus on peace and security processes, humanitarian action, and political decision-making.
As implementation of the Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security agendas in Myanmar have been non-existent, a key challenge identified by the YWL members will be to highlight the relevance and importance of these resolutions. With the ongoing human rights violations inflicted on the Rohingya, it is of utmost urgency that these agendas be implemented.
Accountability for the Rohingya Genocide
In Myanmar, there are reports of continued violations of the human rights of Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, despite the ongoing case between the Gambia and the Burmese government concerning violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Due to state repression against groups and individuals advocating for an end to the atrocities against the Rohingya, there is notable silence on this issue inside Myanmar. However, the YWL members bravely advocate for the protection of the human rights of historically marginalized ethnic groups in Myanmar and the prevention of conflict with regional and global stakeholders.
Advocacy for Democracy and Human Rights
Following the military coup in February 2021, the YWL members mobilized on the frontlines of the civil disobedience movement for democracy and human rights in Yangon, Mandalay, Naypyidaw, Dawei, and Myityina. As part of the civil disobedience movement, young women leaders and male gender equality allies banged pots and pans, sang national revolution songs, honked car horns, sat on roads with signs demanding good governance, and organized mobile talk shows to raise awareness of the military’s brutal crackdown on protesters.
Fearlessly, the young peacebuilders demanded the respect and protection of the human rights of the people of Myanmar; as well as the immediate release of political leaders, civil society activists, and all others detained unlawfully by the military. They also called for:
- restoration of democracy, resumption of Parliament, and respect for the outcome of the November 2020 national elections;
- irreversible reforms to the national constitution to strengthen language on human rights and democracy and prevent recurrence of such actions;
- immediate restoration of the internet and all other forms of communication in Myanmar; and
- uninhibited delivery of humanitarian aid to refugees and internally displaced persons.
© 2020, Young Women Leaders from Myanmar during GNWP workshop
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