Myanmar’s Women Are on the Front Lines Against the Junta

In recent weeks, Nandar has taken to cycling. Armed with a hard hat, a face mask, and a paper sign stuck to her bike showing the words “No to dictatorship, no to patriarchy,” the 26-year-old feminist activist spends most days traversing Yangon, Myanmar, as part of the massive protest movement that has erupted following the military’s seizure of power on Feb. 1. After night falls and she returns home, she joins her neighbors in banging pots and pans—a domestic practice traditionally used to drive out evil spirits that has been taken up as a form of anti-coup protest.

Nandar is among the many women linking feminism to Myanmar’s movement—and weaponizing gender to fight both the military and the patriarchy. Young women have made international headlines for protesting and dying on the front lines of the ongoing demonstrations. So far, over 50 people have been killed by the military in the escalating confrontations.

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