Wai Wai Nu
From political prisoner to peace activist and defender of the rights of marginalized women.
Wai Wai Nu is a former political prisoner. At the age of 18 she was arrested and sentenced to 17 years in prison, together with her mother, sister and brother, for supporting and promoting the idea of a democratic Myanmar. Her father was sentenced to a much longer term. In 2012, after seven years in prison, she was released under a presidential amnesty for political prisoners. Since being freed she has dedicated herself to promoting human rights and democracy in Myanmar.
A Rohingya from Arakhan (Rakhine) State, Wai Wai Nu was deeply moved by the the escalation of violence that she encountered upon her release from prison. Therefore, Wai Wai decided to form the Women’s Peace Network, Arakhan as a platform to build peace and mutual understanding between Myanmar’s different ethnicities, and advocate for the rights of marginalized women in Arakhan. Through the Women’s Peace Network Wai has campaigned in Myanmar and around the world for women’s rights, an end to impunity, and an end to the persecution and marginalization of her people, the Rohingya. She has conducted women’s empowerment trainings, offered legal education seminars, and organized human rights and peacebuilding activities. Wai Wai recently completed her law degree and founded Justice for Women, which operates as a network of women lawyers providing legal aid for the women of Myanmar.