Stories

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Naw Moh Moh Than, 18, aspires to become a teacher but she has had her journey disrupted several times. When she was in secondary school, armed conflict in Kayin State forced her and her family to flee to a displaced persons camp. With the help of one her teachers, she resumed her schooling in the nearest town but then the COVID-19 pandemic forced all the schools to close since the start of 2020. Still, Naw Moh Moh Than remained determined. She joined a sewing training that UN Women organized in the camp and made cloth masks that humanitarian groups bought and distributed to women across Kayin State, which is mostly populated by the Karen ethnic minority.
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Interview with Sandi Swe, volunteer at a quarantine centre, Myanmar
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Interviews with staff and volunteers from Myanmar’s Women’s Organizations Network (WON) and Migrant Monitoring Group (MMG), Myanmar
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At first, it was difficult for the women migrant returnees to settle into the quarantine centres and hold to physical distancing rules. Fear of stigmatisation of those who have stayed in quarantine facilities has also been a huge concern, so much so that some women hid or bribed taxi drivers to drive them directly to their home villages.
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The world in lockdown has created a ‘profound shock to our societies and economies, and women are at the heart of care and response efforts underway[1]. Primarily as caregivers, women are not just sustaining families, but also serving as front-line responders, mainly in the health and service sector.
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UN Women has been working with other United Nations agencies, partners and the Government to raise public awareness about COVID-19. Initiatives by UN Women’s Sittwe office include providing information geared toward women, helping women get health and social protection services, and ensuring that virus control measures, such as quarantine centres, meet women’s needs and concerns
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I left Myanmar to go to Thailand 16 years ago because I wanted to have a better job and better wages. I could do many tasks, but there was no job in my village in Kayin State that provided enough income for me to support my family. At the time, information about migration was not as easy to find as it is today, especially in my small village.
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Although humanitarian staff may be used to activity in the field, they may not have expected to be running at a training workshop. But a Gender Relay Race was one of several interactive exercises at the Gender in Humanitarian Action (GiHA) Training-of-Trainers (ToT) Workshop held in Yangon from 23 to 26 April 2019. Organized by UN Women, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the goal of the ToT was to meet the demand for dedicated training in this area and create a pool of GiHA trainers and human resources in Myanmar.
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Twenty-five staff members of 10 civil society organizations and international non-governmental groups attended the training from 27 to 29 March in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State in western Myanmar. UN Women organized the training under its Inclusive Development and Empowerment of Women in Rakhine State programme to strengthen their ability to advocate for gender-responsive policies and programmes. The participants learned about key concepts on gender and Myanmar’s commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
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UN Women has been supporting the Government of Myanmar’s National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women for 2018-2022 by training public servants on how to best meet women’s needs and rights in Rakhine State. A team of foreign and local gender experts guided a total of 158 public servants in learning how to be more responsive to gender concerns and how to implement the National Strategic Plan at the local level. The trainings were done in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare.
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UN Women Myanmar with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Yangon is implementing the second phase of the project, ‘Centering Women and their Priorities in the Peace Process: Implementing the UNSCR 1325 and Related Resolutions’. Initiated in 2017, the programme will continue into 2020 with the aim of ensuring the implementation of the national commitments and accountability frameworks on the Women, Peace and Development Plans (WPDP) in south-eastern Myanmar.
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To strengthen joint action on nationality rights, UN Women and UNHCR convened key women’s civil society organizations (CSOs), gender equality networks and women’s empowerment advocates from across Myanmar, representing diverse states, ethnicities, religions, transgendered persons, sex workers, networks of women living with HIV and women with disabilities, philanthropists, faith-based leaders and celebrities. Participants came...
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Government officials of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand have jointly recommended steps to protect the millions of migrant workers in the region from exploitation and abuse. The officials from various ministries made the recommendations at a 24-25 May consultation that also included employers, civil society and international humanitarian organizations, and United Nations agencies - UN Women, International Organization for Migration...
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Tin Moe Tun farms for a living, but he is also trying to cultivate something else in his little village: an understanding among the men that it’s not OK to demean and attack women and girls. The village is poor, and economic opportunities are hard to come by. Many of the men want to live ‘freely’ and don’t like outsiders telling them what to do, some of them find solace in alcohol and the social...
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On the 16th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325, UN Women in Myanmar organized a multi-stakeholder panel dialogue focused on women’s empowerment, participation and leadership in the Myanmar peace process. More specifically, the panel focussed on the specific strategies to ensure (a) 30 per cent participation of capacitated women in Myanmar’s Peace Dialogues and (b) that all issues are addressed and acted upon also from a gender equality and women’s rights...
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What do gender equality advocates in Myanmar want from a nationwide ceasefire and does the existing nationwide ceasefire agreement deliver this? A new publication by UN Women, “The Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in Myanmar: A Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Analysis”, explores this...
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UN Women Indonesia, in partnership with the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, and Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence Against Women convened a National Workshop with the National Human Rights Mechanisms on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Women’s Human Rights on...
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The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) and UN Women, Myanmar organized a Workshop on UN Security Council Resolution, 1325 ( UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security, and related Resolutions in Nay Pyi Taw on 27-28 April 2015. The meeting brought together 41 participants – parliamentarians, senior government officials from ministries addressing women, peace and security issues, commissioners and staff of MNHRC and academics...
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The first National Multi-stakeholder Consultation on the Gender Dimensions of International Migration on 25 March in Yangon, Myanmar attended by 40 participants including representatives from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MLESS), the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF), Civil Society Organisations working on migration, Women Migrant Workers and ILO. The consultation sought to enhance understanding of the...
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From flash mobs to bicycle races, street marches to art exhibits, and even illuminating landmarks and buildings in orange light, people around the world banded together during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence by “oranging their neighbourhoods.”