The Karen Women's Organization is a community-based organization of Karen women working in development/relief in the refugee camps on the Thai border and with IDPs inside Burma. The objectives of the KWO are to empower Karen women, to increase women's participation in decision-making at all levels and to achieve equality with men.
This report “Shattering Silences” clearly documents the widespread and systematic rape being committed by the Burmese military against Karen
women in Burma. Most of these incidents have been committed with impunity, creating a climate of fear for Karen women in Burma.
The cases reported demonstrate how rape is actively being used as a strategy by the SPDC2 military to intimidate, control, shame and ethnically cleanse Karen groups in Burma. Despite the current “ceasefire talks” between the SPDC and the Karen National Union (KNU), the SPDC has continued to perpetrate human rights violations against Karen people in Karen State. At the time of publication in April 2004, Karen women continue to be killed and raped by SPDC soldiers, forced to work as porters and forced from their homes.