Monday, 16 July 2018

About 30 women from various organizations gathered in front of the Unilever Head Office in London calling on the company to disinvest from Burma because of genocide and rape of the Rohingya on March 8, 2018 – International Women’s Day.

                                    Women hold banner in front of Unilever HQ in London

The Global Women’s Strike, which organized the protest, said they were targeting Unilever because it claimed “to embody principles that respect the dignity and rights of women and girls, especially in the marketing of Dove products.”

“This is at odds with their $667 million investment in Myanmar where the military are committing systematic rape and other torture with total impunity as part of their genocide against the Rohingya people,” stated the campaign leaflet.

Protestors held up banners saying: “No Peace? No Dove!” and called on passers-by to stop using Dove products, and to sign a petition to Unilever to withdraw from Myanmar.
A letter to the Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, was accepted by a company representative at the building entrance.

                                 Women protest in front of Unilever HQ in London

A joint statement by “Black Women’s Rape Action Project” and “Women Against Rape,” distributed at the protest, called for the Myanmar military to be held to account for systematic rape and other violence against women and children, and for Rohingya refugees not to be forced back to Myanmar.

A report, Rape by Command, compiled and published by the Kaladan Press Network documents horrific crimes committed against women and girls in 2017 across Rakhine State; in their homes and communities, or while fleeing the murderous army during its purge, according to statement.

The chief researcher of the report, Razia Sultana, personally interviewed 36 survivors about what they had suffered and witnessed happening to many others. She concluded that “Women and girls were raped, mutilated and killed for their very identity as Rohingya. Rape is being used as a weapon of genocide.”