In July 2002, amidst the Burmese military offensive against Shan rebels in the northern border between Thailand and Burma, a report "Licence to Rape" (1) was presented by the Shan Women Action Network (SWAN) and the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF). The report was part of a campaign launched to stop the Burmese soldiers' systematic raping of hundreds of Shan women and girls in the Shan state. The report's shocking evidence and detailed documentation of how sexual violence has been used as "a weapon of war" against the Shan women in Burma gained widespread national and international attention. Consequently the campaign successfully shifted the terms of the protracted conflict between the Shan and the Burmese state, such that the "women's question" attained a central presence in the debates about ethnic violence, independence movement, and sexual abuse in Burma. Shan women activists' campaign to stop the violation of rights by the Burmese regime also influenced the Shan state independence movement by raising the question of gender politics within the discourse of Shan nationalism and women's subordinate position. By rendering the "woman question" as an autonomous form of politics, the Shan women movement exposed the contradictory characteristic of nationalist discourse in relation to gender differentiation. The key internal contradiction is that of the tension between the repressive and emancipatory forms of power that circumscribed the nationalist project's trajectory, where women were conceived of both as being subversive and liberated.