ALTSEAN project narrative report November-December 2023 


Women in Myanmar face severe repression and violence from the military junta. Patriarchal social norms and widespread gender-based violence further limit women’s involvement in public life. Despite these challenges, since the Myanmar military staged a coup on the 1st of February 2021, women activists have been at the forefront of resistance. They have participated in civil disobedience, rallied against the military, documented abuses, provided support to affected communities, and played a leading role in regional and international advocacy. These women have drawn attention to the political, economic, and humanitarian crises caused by the military junta and have built networks to respond effectively.  

Our partner organisation, ALTSEAN-Burma (Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma), through their Women of Burma (WoB) program, is supporting these brave women as they continue to speak out against the injustices their people are enduring. 

Check this video to learn about the junta in Myanmar 

Supporting activists 

Since 1997, Altsean-Burma has been running an internship program designed to develop women’s knowledge, skills, and leadership qualities. Many of the participants have gone on to lead various civil society organisations in Myanmar and along the Thai-Myanmar border, working in community development and advocating strongly for democracy, their communities, and women’s rights. 

Women writers workshops 

Altsean-Burma also supports women who wish to enhance their creative writing skills and leverage storytelling for advocacy. These workshops empower participants to document and share their stories with a wide audience, raising awareness of their realities. 

The workshops include sessions on writing techniques, and the development of personal stories, and end with two days of group reflection and constructive feedback. Many women involved in the program have firsthand experience or have heard detailed accounts from survivors of human rights abuses perpetrated by the junta. Stories shared include experiences of airstrikes, arrests and abuse in junta interrogation centers, displacement, joining the Civil Disobedience Movement, and surviving after their husbands were murdered by the junta. 

Recalling and sharing these stories was emotional but powerful, enabling women to share their traumas in a safe and supportive environment. The majority of participants were keen to see their stories published. 

“I will use these new skills and knowledge to share women’s stories with a wider audience.” – Women Writers workshop participant 

The stories developed in these workshops are being reviewed, edited, proofread, and published into a book. To ensure a wide reach, the book will be translated into English, Burmese, and Thai. Keep an eye out for the book launch later this year! 

This project is supported bu the Australian Education Union.



Check the previous book produced by women writers Workshops: Women’s Voices Across Boundaries 2020  – English edition  

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!