Report: Rape Used as “Weapon of War” by Burmese Military
Relations between the US and Burma (Myanmar) are once again strained following a report by Thailand-based human rights activists that charges the Burmese military with using systematic rape of ethnic civilians as a war tactic. In recent months, the Burmese government—aiming to gain favor from the Bush administration—released Nobel Peace Prize activist Aung San Suu Kyi and also hired a lobbying firm to facilitate the relation-building process. However, the report released by the Shan Human Rights Foundation and the Shan Women’s Action Network has prompted the State Department to issue warnings to the junta, calling for full investigation of the charges and punishment for “those guilty of such heinous crimes,” said a State Department official.
In a letter to Myanmar’s ambassador to the United States, the Burmese government rejected the report’s documentation of the rape of at least 625 girls and women in the largest ethnic minority state of Shan, which is currently seeking independence. “You will find that they are nothing but unverified testimonies said to have been provided by the so-called victims on the other side of the border.”
Media Resources: Washington Post 7/4/02; Associated Press 7/7/02
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .