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May Sabe Phyu

Headshot of May Sabe Phyu

Visiting Fellow

May Sabe Phyu is a visiting fellow at SEAP and woman human rights defender from Myanmar. She is the Director of the Gender Equality Network (GEN), a coalition of more than 100 organizations collaborating to advocate for women’s rights to end discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities in Myanmar. She works actively in the areas of the prevention of violence against women, law reform and women's engagement to bring peace. She graduated from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Thailand in 2011 with her first master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies, and obtained her second master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2018. Less than 48 hours after the coup, she organized many women’s groups to form a Women’s Human Rights Defenders network to collectively counter the country’s urgent state of affairs. That network has transformed itself into a coalition and now stands as one of the independent voices for the plight of women and girls in Myanmar, advocating to power-holders and policy makers so that humanitarian efforts will be gendered and include the most affected communities, and addressing the gendered needs arising from this failed coup. As the recognition of her work, she was honored by many international awards including “International Women of Courage” Award by the United States in 2015, and “Frenco-German Human Rights and Rule of Law Prize” by the German and France in 2021. She is a Dorothea S. Clarke fellow with Cornell Law School relocated to the United States after the military’s failed coup in 2021. During her fellowship, she will do research on “Marital Rape” and the “International Accountability Mechanism for seeking justice of human rights violations and war crimes in Myanmar.”

Additional Information



  • Postdoc
  • Visiting Scholar