Violence against women is something which is a global problem. In Myanmar, there is a high level of social acceptance of violence against women. Women are perpetually harassed and groped on public transport. Husbands feel it is acceptable to beat and rape their wives.

[blockquote cite=”UNFPA Myanmar statement.” type=”left”]We should not have to live in fear of violence, just because we are women. We have the right to live in peace in our homes and in our country.[/blockquote]

We want women to understand their value and worth and to ensure the safety of, not only this generation of women, but the next and the next. Violence against women is an infringement of human rights.

Women who come to our community centres enter into a commitment to meet weekly. They share food and in so doing, share life. Through activities we are able to communicate the importance of keeping oneself safe, of educating the next generation and each other that it is not right and not acceptable to commit violence against women and girls. We play fun games together that cement the learnings and discussions; the community centres are a safe place, where women can come together to talk about their struggles and where they learn to stand up for one another in the community.

Through these groups, women see that they are not alone. They do not have to endure their situation in silence and action can be taken. They experience the strength that being in a peer group brings.