Discrimination against women: reports of violations in Shan State
|Title:|| ||Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
|Description/subject:|| ||"SWAN is a founding member of the Women's League of Burma (WLB), an umbrella women's organization comprising eleven women's groups from Burma. SWAN, through its affiliation with other women's organizations, establishes common platforms to promote the role of women from Burma in the struggle for democracy and human rights in their country.
SWAN's objectives: * Promoting women's rights and the rights of children; * Opposing exploitation of and violence against women and children; * Working together for peace and freedom in our society; * Empowering women for a better life; * Raising awareness to preserve natural resources and the environment. Background of SWAN
SWAN was set up on 28 March 1999 by a group of Shan women active in Thailand and along the Thai- Burma border seeking to address the needs of Shan women. In fact, before the formation of SWAN, Shan women in various locations had already been active in a number of projects to assist women. Even though informal networks were in place, it was felt that more could be achieved, in addressing both practical and strategic needs of Shan women, if a more concrete network among the various women could be formed.
This Shan women's network would also be able to coordinate with other women's organizations from Burma, as well as GOs and NGOs working with women locally, nationally and internationally.
The Shan State is over 64,000 square kilometers in size and forms the eastern part of the Union of Burma bordering China, Laos and Thailand. The people of the Shan State, like in other areas of Burma, suffer from abuse inflicted by the Burmese military regime, which according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Asia is amongst the worst in the world. The abuse inflicted on the Shan people by the Burmese military has forced many people to flee for their lives to Thailand.
The Thai government, however, does not recognize the Shan people as refugees and unlike the Karen and Karenni refugees, has not allowed them to set up refugees camps along the Thai-Burmese border. Consequently the Shans are forced to enter Thailand illegally, which leaves them extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Despite this, Shan people are still coming to take refuge in Thailand. The estimated number of Shans working illegally in Thailand is at least 300,000. Among them are many girls and young women who have been trafficked into Thai brothels, where they face a wide range of abuse including sexual and other physical violence, debt bondage, exposure to HIV/AIDS, forced labor without payment and illegal confinement..."
Reports, programmes etc.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||April 2003|
|Title:|| ||Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung Women in Burma,
|Date of publication:|| ||09 June 2006|
|Description/subject:|| ||"'Poisoned Flowers: The Impacts of Spiraling Drug Addiction on Palaung
Women in Burma', based on interviews with eighty-eight wives and mothers of drug
addicts, shows how women in Palaung areas have become increasingly vulnerable due
to the rising addiction rates. Already living in dire poverty, with little access to
education or health care, wives of addicts must struggle single-handedly to support as
many as ten children.
Addicted husbands not only stop providing for their families, but also sell off property
and possessions, commit theft, and subject their wives and children to repeated verbal
and physical abuse. The report details cases of women losing eight out of eleven
children to disease and of daughters being trafficked by their addicted father.
The increased addiction rates have resulted from the regime allowing drug lords to
expand production into Palaung areas in recent years, in exchange for policing against
resistance activity and sharing drug profits. The collapse of markets for tea and other
crops has driven more and more farmers to turn to opium growing or to work as
labourers in opium fields, where wages are frequently paid in opium.
The report throws into question claims by the regime and the UNODC of a dramatic
reduction of opium production in Burma during the past decade, and calls on donor
countries and UN agencies supporting drug eradication programs in Burma to push
for genuine political reform..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Palaung Women's Organization|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (632K), Word (360K)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/PoisonedFlowers.pdf
|Date of entry/update:|| ||08 June 2006|