When American photographer Richard Renaldi came upon a group of girls wearing vividly patterned dresses and hats during a recent visit to Burma, he thought he might have a good shot. Best known for his street portraits of strangers , Renaldi assumed the group was dressed for a special outing to the 11th-century Shwesandaw Pagoda —a popular attraction in a country that finally opened to tourism in after decades of political sanctions. Like many travelers, Renaldi and his partner had made the same trip to the Shwesandaw Pagoda one of the most famous of the more than 2, ancient temples and shrines that remain to take in the views of the sunset and the dozens of smaller pagodas that emerge from the lush countryside below its high terraces. Pictured here: the Dhammayangyi Temple, one of the largest temples in Bagan. In his best-known work, Touching Strangers , "Renaldi pairs up strangers and invites them to pose together in ways that people are often taught to reserve for their close friends and loved ones," says art foundation Aperture , which hosted an exhibit of his work this spring. Here, two Nurses at Mandalay General Hospital hold hands.
21 Photos That Reveal the True Beauty of Burma
Sexual Violence against Rohingya Women and Girls in Burma | HRW
Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. Click to expand Image Rohingya women refugees who crossed the Naf River from Burma into Bangladesh continue inland toward refugee camps. Tek Naf, Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh. Human Rights Watch has found that these abuses amount to crimes against humanity under international law. The military operations were sparked by attacks by the armed group the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army ARSA on 30 security force outposts and an army base that killed 11 Burmese security personnel.
Burma: Widespread Rape of Rohingya Women, Girls
To people who come to Burma for the first time there are two things about the status of our women that seem to impress them with particular force. My foreign friends have often told me that they are surprised to see an ordinary Burmese woman sitting at her stall in a bazaar, dressed in the usual htamein and jacket, her hair arranged on top of her head in the traditional manner, often smoking a cigar—and handling her trade with all the hard-headed business acumen of a man. Or, in an agricultural family, the wife may be helping with the planting, the reaping, the winnowing. If her husband is a cartman, a Burmese woman may perform her share of the labor. You can see her in business houses, signing contracts and making decisions for the firm, or find her in any of the professions or in parliament.
Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. Download the full report in English.