YANGON, Myanmar — Never mind the fact that Myanmar's most famous person is a woman—Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. For women and girls, the nation formerly called Burma can often feel like a frustrating and hostile place.
In Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, 400 of the country's most influential women recently packed into a gaudily decorated ballroom for a sister-to-sister powwow—gathering their collective networks of lawmakers, activists and organizers to address the daily dangers posed to women in one of Asia's poorest nations.
A conference like this might not seem that special in the West.
But in Myanmar, the threats to womanhood are particularly treacherous. They include human trafficking, abuse by the military as well as rebel factions and a nearly all-male police force — making it difficult to get female-friendly treatment and easy to experience day-to-day discrimination.