Set up almost two years ago, the class is aimed at helping women protect themselves from one of Myanmar’s biggest problems – sexual harassment and violence against women.Its founder and self-defence trainer, Michelle, said that she wanted to set up the centre to help women who have suffered from sexual harassment and abuse. Later, I was thinking how to solve this problem by practicing aerobics and Taekwondo.Such varying figures show that little research has been done on the issue and real numbers are likely to be much higher due to underreporting.Almost all of the women who attend the monthly class have suffered some kind of sexual harassment. Su May, 20, who wants to be a self defence trainer herself, started taking lessons after she was left terrified of travelling on buses because of sexual harassment.I don’t want women to be weaker physically and mentally.When something happens the majority want to blame women.In Myanmar, data scarcity on the issue remains a challenge.
We also hear the thoughts of Myanmar pop icon Ah Moon as she urges women to have the confidence to stand up against abuse.
Su May: I attend this class because I faced sexual harassment.
In the last two years, while I was taking the bus, men were touching my waist.
Listen on Soundcloud and You Tube below: Win Zar Ni Aung: Mingalabar, welcome to Doh Athan, a new weekly podcast from Frontier Myanmar, I’m Zar Ni.
Our pioneering audio programme, the first of its kind in Myanmar, helps shine a spotlight on the many human rights issues affecting people across this beautiful country.