On International Women’s Day, KWO released a report called, ‘Kill Me Instead of Them,’ based on the testimony of 109 Karen women village chiefs who served during the decades of heavy fighting before the 2012 ceaseﬁre between the Karen National Union and the Burmese government. It describes their courage and strength in their leadership roles, despite the many different types of human rights violations they experienced.
Abuses suffered by the women village chiefs included the extrajudicial killing of friends, family, and relatives at the hands of the Burma Army. Some shared that they had been porters (forced to carry military supplies day and night by the Burma Army) and others had been subject to torture. During these difficult times, their situations were made worse when the military deprived them of food and water and a lack of access to clean facilities to wash and clean themselves. Across this report, women showed courage, determination, empathy, and bravery.