Women are starting to talk about violence
There are many different ethnic groups in Myanmar, all with their own traditions and cultures. But they have one thing in common – the understanding that men are superior to women.
When a woman is sexually or physically abused, people blame the woman instead of the perpetrator. Domestic violence is a part of everyday life since people believe and accept that a husband is the owner of his wife. There is a saying that “the more you beat her till she breaks the bones, the more she will love you”.
Women do not dare to speak out
Although women are experiencing domestic violence every day in different ways, physically, mentally or psychologically, they do not dare to speak out. When our partner organizations conducted a training course on gender-based violence and gender-related laws at the community level, women said they had never experienced domestic violence and not even heard about it in their villages. The reason is that it is very unusual to talk about problems between husband and wife in public and many think that it is a shame.
It is hard to deal with the violence
Another big problem is that some women don’t even realise they have been verbally or physically violated by men. After participating in training, women become aware and start to speak out about the violence. But awareness is one thing, how to deal with the violence is still hard for many women.
A married young woman who had been abandoned by her husband said; “I now realised and understood that I have been abused by my husband but I don’t want to take action legally since now, he is in away and I want to live happily and peacefully with my children.”
Story told by Dim Sian Lun, programme officer in Myanmar