Women’s rights activists tackle taboos in Myanmar
Cultural practices like washing men’s and women’s clothes separately are being called into question by women’s rights activists who say the practices perpetuate gender inequality.
Women’s rights activist May Sabe Phyu says men are born with an invisible superpower that women don’t have simply because of their gender.
“Womenswear – this being the sarong or underwear – is not supposed to be washed together with men’s clothes, because if the man’s clothes touch a woman’s underwear or clothes it will reduce their hpoun. It’s a very silly idea. It’s simply not acknowledging that men are also born from the woman.”
“It is really rooted in [the idea that] menstrual blood is dirty and rotten. So when a man is sit with their legs stretched out in front, women cannot, and even girls cannot, pass over his legs because they are dirty. All the time there are messages around that women are low, women are dirty, women are not good.”