Women’s Agency in Armed Struggles in Myanmar’s Spring Revolution 

Poster for Women’s Agency in Armed Struggles in Myanmar’s Spring Revolution with Aye Lei Tun, Burma Past and Present series, 14 December 2023Thursday, 14 December 2023 | 11:00 to 13:00 EST | Room 857, Eighth Floor, Kaneff Tower, York University and virtually via Zoom

With Aye Lei Tun, McMaster University

Respondent: Jane Ferguson

The politics of sex hierarchy in Myanmar has created a narrative that portrays males as protectors of state sovereignty, kinship, and family, while women are relegated to the role of reproduction and preservation of culture and tradition. Within Myanmar’s particularly militarized context, dominant discourses that emphasize the necessity of men to defend physical security has resulted in women’s subordination in the security sector. Moreover, men seeking security have aimed to form strong male-bonded alliances, often based on patrilineal ties, with these coalitions seeking security through domination. Women have long been an indispensable part of this security provision mechanism, as they are the ones who biologically reproduce the group, generating brothers and sons for the male alliances. However, it is noteworthy that the 2021 revolution against Myanmar’s military dictatorship is also attempting to revolutionize gender norms and the role of women in armed struggles. This study examines to what extent women are viewed as the agents in current armed struggles and whether societal attitudes toward female combatants have changed compared to the previous armed revolutions in Myanmar.

Virtual attendees can register at this link

This event is part of the Burma Past and Present: Religion, Ethnicity and Power, a series of readings and discussion of works in progress. We will be reading and discussing work in progress with the author. Please email hmlwin@yorku.ca to receive a copy of the reading.