As Myanmar emerges from decades of military rule, challenges surrounding urbanization, governance, and gender-based discrimination are becoming more evident. In this critical transition, a number of organizations are stepping up to ensure that women and girls are heard, including Colorful Girls, a grassroots organization leading a movement to empower adolescent girls and young women with the confidence and leadership skills to prevent violence and advocate for their rights. Yes, we deal with girls from the ethnic majority and with girls from many minority groups all over the country. But then we also work with girls from conflict-afflicted areas and ethnic minority girls who live in the big cities. Having said that, I think there are some commonalities across all those divisions in how society and individuals think about adolescent girls and young women. Some people think of adolescent girls as docile, hard-working, and shy, and that they therefore need to be protected. In some cases, this way of thinking can leave young women and girls vulnerable to abuse-with the expectation that they have a duty to stay with their parents, or if they are a bit older and married, with their husbands.
About our blog, InAsia
Virginity has traditionally been greatly prized in modest Burma-Myanmar. A English language tourist brochure referred to Burma as "The Land of Virgins and the Restful Nights" and said its "trademark" virgins are famous for their "clear skin. Parents can't control their kids so strictly anymore. Even though the military government passed a decree in early forbidding women from working at bars as pat of a campaign against prostitution, something the military government is adamantly against, there are los of prostitutes in Chinatown. Underwear can be a sensitive topic in Myanmar. Never raise your underwear above your head. This is considered very rude. Washing is often by hand. If you have some laundry done at a guesthouse, some people make take offense to washing your under garments.
Wut Yee, who requested to change her name for this story, had quit school to handle household chores and look after her brother and she had no other source of income. Money was in short supply. He took me in his car to a house on the outskirts of town. I spent the whole day with him. After two months, she quit over disagreements with colleagues and exploitation by the owner, and she decided to ply the trade alone on the streets, often following men more than twice her age into dingy hotel rooms. Myanmar Now found one underage sex worker after interviewing more than a dozen workers, but was told that it was not uncommon for teenage girls to end up in the trade.
I don't really care if she's religious or not, unless she brings it up all the time or tries to convert me. If we have children, they will be OK to go to your church, but not compelled to do so, and never baptized. Children thrive on clarity and consistency. Even with the demands on his time, the man took the time and made the effort to post a profile on a dating site. He had no idea what he was getting himself into.