Wai Wai Nu
On Her Family’s Imprisonment in Myanmar
In This Video
Wai Wai Nu - On Her Family’s Imprisonment in Myanmar
View Wai Wai’s full oral history and transcript at the Georgetown University Library.
Wai Wai Nu was born in 1987 in Buthidaung, Myanmar and moved to Rangoon (Yangon), Myanmar with her family when she was eight or nine years old. Her father was a politician and the family faced government oppression because he was part of an opposition party and because the family belongs to the Rohingya minority group. At age 16, Wai Wai started studying law, but at age 18 her entire family was arrested and put in prison. Although she and most of her family were sentenced to 17 years in prison (her father was sentenced to 47), they were released after seven years.
Wai Wai immediately re-enrolled in university to finish her law degree, and went on to found multiple organizations centered around peace, youth, and women, including Women Peace Network-Arakan. This interview was conducted on the occasion of her receiving the GIWPS’s Hillary Clinton Award in 2018. Wai Wai discusses her childhood and her time in prison, where she met many other female inmates and learned about their life stories. This experience encouraged her to advocate for greater inclusion of women’s voices in peace-building and political decision making.