On 1 February 2021, Myanmar’s military seized control of the country and detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, citing unsubstantiated allegations of electoral irregularities in the November 2020 election. Following this, medical staff at Myanmar’s public hospitals started the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), expressing their intention to stop working under the military regime. 

As a result of the CDM, many public hospitals across the country have ceased to operate and treat patients. In addition, civil employees from other ministries have joined the movement; protests across the country now number in the hundreds of thousands. In an attempt to quell the growing CDM, the military regime has used escalating force and implemented numerous restrictions. This has included increasingly shutting down internet access and banning access to social media platforms such as Facebook, which have been used to coordinate CDM activities.

Please click here to read the full “COVID-19 and a coup: Blockage of internet and social media access further exacerbate gender-based violence risks for women in Myanmar” article published at BMJ Global Health, written by Vandana Sharma, Julia Hollainder, Jennifer Scott and Griffith Asia Institute PhD candidate, Phyu Phyu Oo.