Buddhist nuns are everywhere among the streets of Myanmar — of all different ages, some as young as 5. Dressed in pink loose-fitting shirts and pants with orange scarves, they have shaved heads and rely on alms to pay for their schooling, food, housing, and other basic needs.
The nunnery is a safe place in a country where poor girls have very little hope for a safe future. (Andrew Rothschild for Yahoo)
Monks don’t have the same economic handicaps. The large temples pay for their needs, but that’s not surprising. In Myanmar, being a woman is hard, more so if you are poor and live in the north of the country, where tribes are still battling the government.
Related: 12-Inch Necks: How Women Torture Themselves for Beauty in the Far East
Girls in these areas are in a precarious position, constantly in danger of being trafficked across foreign borders. According to the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking:
“Myanmar is a source country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Myanmar people are trafficked to Thailand, China, Malaysia, South Korea, and Macau for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labour.”