This article published in Equal Times is written by Laura Villadiego. Here is an excerpt:
A few weeks ago, a strange sight began appearing in the streets of Myanmar (Burma). Women have been hanging their traditional htamein – the pieces of cloth they wear as skirts – from ropes tied to windows or utility poles, suspending them above the streets like decoration for a parade. Some attach them to sticks and carry them as flags. These women are not simply putting out the laundry; they are protesting the coup d’état staged by the Burmese military on 1 February.
“Men think they have special powers just for being men,” Khin Ohmar, a women’s rights activist in Myanmar, tells Equal Times. “And they believe that walking underneath a piece of women’s clothing will make them lose their special powers.” The htamein are thus used as shields to protect the protest areas and prevent the military from entering.
From the very beginning, women have been at the forefront of protests against the coup that deposed Myanmar’s civilian government led by the iconic Aung San Suu Kyi.