More than 230 women and girls have been killed and nearly 400 detained by Myanmar’s regime this year, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which monitors junta killings and arrests.
The report said 237 females across the country had been killed this year by Wednesday with the resistance stronghold of Sagaing Region suffering the highest number of fatalities at 130. Bago Region reported 28 and Chin State 20.
Wednesday’s report said 91 females were killed by regime airstrikes and 69 died in junta shelling. The Burmese Women’s Union said females were being burned to death and killed in junta custody this year besides being killed in bombardments.
An AAPP representative said the rate of detentions and killings of women has significantly increased this year as regime troops raid and torch Sagaing villages, regardless of whether there has been fighting with resistance forces.
“Women left behind in the village who could not flee became targets of the military. They were being killed, raped or used as human shields. The military targets women because they are active in the revolution,” the representative told The Irrawaddy.
Kyar Khin Sein, the leader of Tiger Women Drone Force in Sagaing Region, said women are regularly raped and killed.
“Regime soldiers give no leniency to women. They see all the people who don’t support them as resistance members so it is better for women to fight back,” Kyar Khin Sein told The Irrawaddy.
Sagaing, Magwe and Bago regions and Chin, Kayah and Karen states are seeing the heaviest fighting with residents regularly threatened by junta ground troops, airstrikes and shelling.
“We are always ready to run. We always listen for warplanes and ground troops. We fear shelling, which can hit us at any time,” a woman in Sagaing Region told The Irrawaddy.
Targeting women has increased female involvement in the resistance movement to unprecedented levels in Myanmar, according to the AAPP.
This year 394 women and girls have been detained across the country, including 75 in Sagaing Region, AAPP report said. Around 365 of the females remain in detention.
Since the February 2021 coup, the regime has killed an estimated 3,848 people and detained 24,048, the AAPP reported on Wednesday.