Khin Ohmar

Founder and chairwoman Progressive Voice, a Myanmar human rights organization

Region(s): Asia
Country of focus: Myanmar

Khin Ohmar (@HK88khMy) is founder and chairwoman of the Advisory Board of Progressive Voice (@PVamplify), a Myanmar human rights organization that is amplifying resistance to the Feb. 1, 2021 military coup in Myanmar.

She has been frequently honoured with awards for her global activism for Myanmar since her involvement as a student organizing the “8888 Uprising” – Aug. 8, 1988  – nationwide pro-democracy protests against the military dictatorship that brutally killed about 3,000 peaceful protesters, followed by years of shutting down universities and imprisoning thousands.  She escaped after the violent crackdown and continued her activism for democracy from exile since then. She was a founding member of the Women’s League of Burma and served as vice chair of the Burmese Women’s Union, one of the 12 member organizations in the Women’s League of Burma.

Progressive Voice is collecting and archiving statements, reports, laws, analyses, petitions and other relevant documents pertaining to the Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar from various actors. This includes, but is not limited to, Myanmar civil society organizations, political parties, ethnic armed organizations, protest leaders, existing government ministries and bodies, the military and its newly formed military bodies, and international actors.

Progressive Voice is a human rights research and advocacy organization that is rooted in and maintains strong networks and relationships with rights-based civil society organizations, grassroots networks and community-based organizations throughout Myanmar. It acts as a bridge to the international community and international policymakers by amplifying voices from the ground, and advocating for a rights-based policy narrative in collaboration and partnership.

Progressive Voice,’ or in Burmese, ရှေ့ပြေးအသံ ‘Shay Pyay Athan,’ was born in 2016  out of Burma Partnership, a network of organizations throughout the Asia-Pacific region established in 2006 to advocate for and mobilize a movement for democracy and human rights in Myanmar, where Khin served as coordinator until it transcended to Progressive Voice in 2016.

Among Khin’s awards noted on her profile at the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict are the Capital Area Peace Maker Award (American University; 1997), Refugee Leader of Promise Award (Women’s Commission on Refugee Women and Children; 1997); Anna Lindh Award (Anna Lindh Memorial Foundation; 2008); Global Leadership Award for Human Rights (Vital Voices; 2008); and Young Women’s Peace Award (Democracy Today; 2018).