YANGON, Myanmar - Faced with unprecedented nationwide armed resistance, Myanmar's military is reportedly recruiting young women into its ranks, according to defecting officers, to increase troop numbers.
This week, an advertisement in the junta mouthpiece The Mirror invited women aged 18 to 25 with a Grade 9 diploma to join the military's reserve force.
However, officers who left the army to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) told the press that Monday's announcement could be intended to expand administrative duties traditionally assigned to women in the military.
"Now that the military has lost so many people on the frontlines, we don't know what they have planned for [these female soldiers]," said Cpt Nyi Thuta, a CDM participant. "It appears that they also intend to use those women in infantry and light infantry battalions."
He speculated that the military might be replacing soldiers killed in action with male officers from administrative departments, military intelligence, and medical officers. According to the captain, they may also be planning to fill the roles that have been left vacant with new female recruits.