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Women take to the streets of Myanmar as unions call for general strike against coup regime

WOMEN in Myanmar protested against masculine dictatorship today as International Women’s Day was marked with a national strike and protests across the country. 

“Our people are unarmed but wise. [The military junta] try to rule with fear, but we will fight that fear,” protest organiser Nay Chi said, describing the women of Myanmar as revolutionaries.

Two people were reported to have been killed, shot through the head by forces allied to the junta. The United Nations says that the death toll since the February 1 coup has risen to 50.

Eighteen trade unions had called a stoppage, with shops, factories and banks shut down, as they demanded an end to military rule and the restoration of democracy. 

“The time to take action in defence of our democracy is now,” a joint union statement said. “No-one can force any Myanmar citizen to work. We are not slaves to the military junta now and we never shall be.”

They vowed to stay out on strike “until our democracy is restored.” 

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has monitored arrests by the military, says 1,790 people had been detained as of March 7. A total of 1,472 remain in custody.

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