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Myanmar’s population is facing a double crisis from the COVID-19 and the military takeover of February 2021, which is steadily wearing out their social and economic resilience.
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An international workshop to strengthen the capacities of female officers in leadership positions was held today in this city in Ha Nam province for 40 senior policewomen from northern provinces and Hanoi. The Department of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Public Security, hosted the workshop in partnership with UN Women.
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UN Women, in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Development Studies and CED Link, supported the efforts of 71 youth leaders, content creators and change-makers across Viet Nam to develop innovative social media projects aimed at strengthening positive digital engagement and at combating cyberharms. Within three months, the projects achieved incredible results, receiving a collective 4.9 million views, 19,100 comments and 4,382 shares across all major social media platforms commonly used in Viet Nam.
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[Press release] Building on the momentum and commitments from the International Conference on Women, Peace and Security which was successfully hosted by Viet Nam in Ha Noi in late 2021, today’s international workshop brought together WPS experts and more than 100 representatives from the Viet Nam National Assembly, Government ministries, United Nations, and other agencies, both offline and online, to discuss how to accelerate the development of a National Action Plan on WPS for Viet Nam, as part of its international commitment to implement the WPS Agenda.
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A total of 220 women living with HIV in four Vietnamese provinces now have a chance to rebuild their livelihoods with cash handouts from UN Women after losing their incomes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar handouts, of VND 4 million (USD 170) each, also are creating brighter futures for 44 ethnic minority women in another province who had to return home after losing their migrant jobs because of the pandemic.
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Ko Aung Lin, a 36-year-old famer and a member of the Mro ethnic group, lives in Ah Htet Myat Lay village, Ponnagyun Township, in Sittwe of Rakhine state in Myanmar’s far west. He is the only man among the 10 volunteers chosen in Rakhine for a joint project by UN Women and United Nations Population Fund to prevent violence against women and girls and help survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 restrictions delayed the start of the project.
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Rakhine State, Myanmar – Daw Aye Mu had always wanted to learn how to expand her small business making snacks in western Myanmar. In July 2021, she was selected to attend the UN Women and World Vision Start to Improve Your Business (SIYB) training, along with a cash grant from partner organization Meikswe Myanmar. She explains how the opportunity was a stroke of personal good fortune amid difficult times for her country.
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[Press release] A workshop not only showed Viet Nam’s efforts in realizing its international commitments such as the Ha Noi Commitment to Action on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), but also initiated further discussion on the advancement of the WPS agenda and governmental response in times of crisis, like the Covid-19 pandemic, to protect women and girls from additional harm and to make progress towards peace, equality and inclusion for all.
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Ten Vietnamese companies have received the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awards in recognition of their policies and practices to advance gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.
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Essential equipment worth VND 483 million (USD 21,200) has been donated to the Vietnamese organization Peace House, for their helplines and shelters for survivors of human trafficking and violence against women. The donation, funded under the UN Women-UNODC joint programme on Enhancing Women’s Role in Law Enforcement and Border Security to Prevent Trafficking in Person and Transnational Crimes was ceremonially handed over by UN Women last week.
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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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Gender-based violence Rapid Response Teams in 17 communities, led by local police, and consisting of a Women’s Union Officer and a Justice Officer, Youth Union Officer or Community Leader, deliver timely and coordinated responses and protection for women and girls experiencing violence in their communities.
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[Press release] The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in coordination with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the Australian Embassy in Viet Nam held a virtual conference on the Final Review of the National Strategy on Gender Equality 2011-2020 and Implementation of the National Strategy on Gender Equality 2021-2030.
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[Press release] The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), with financial support from the Embassy of Ireland in Viet Nam, and in coordination with the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (ILSSA-MOLISA), and the Department of Ethnic Minority Affairs - Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) has launched two reports on “Figures on Ethnic Minority Women and Men in Viet Nam 2015-2019” and “Policy Brief: Gender issues in ethnic minority areas in Viet Nam.” The launch is organised in celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August.
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Since February 1, women and girls have been at the frontlines as leaders of civil society organizations, civil servants, activists, journalists, artists and influencers exercising their fundamental rights to express their hopes for the future of their country. Even before the coup, women, who make up 75 per cent of Myanmar’s healthcare professionals, were at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. Now, during a tragic surge in COVID-19 cases, many women continue in their activism and serve their communities while also assuming significant responsibilities as caregivers for sick family members, and for their children’s home-based learning.
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Upon her return to Myanmar in 2019, she invested her savings of MMK 200,000 (USD 122) in her online business. “Doing business was not really in my plan while I was in Thailand,” she said. “But I knew that I am good at using phones and social media. I knew the area and some people. When I returned to Myanmar, I felt certain I could start my online shop. I am still young and can get around easily to take orders to customers, especially with my motorbike,” she said.
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After 11 years away, Aye returned to Myanmar in 2014 pregnant and with around 10 million MMK (USD 6,075) in savings. She spent most of that on a house and used 1,500,000 MMK to start her sewing business in 2015. She felt that she was at her best when sewing, and also felt confident that she had learned to be punctual, systematic and disciplined. Ni Ni Aye says she dreamed of starting a clothing business back in Thailand ever since she started working in Thailand. “I remitted half of my salary to my parents and I saved the other half for my dream business.”
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Thi Nguyen said she sensed something was wrong when the taxi driver in Bangkok, after realizing she was a migrant worker from Viet Nam, took what he said was “a new road” to her destination. She tried to stay calm. “When he reached the edge of a forest, he locked all the doors and went out for a call, perhaps looking for smugglers” she said. “As soon as he got back into the taxi, I told him.
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The villagers of the Giay ethnic minority are often at the mercy of the weather, so UN Women is helping them avert losses in their main livelihoods of farming and raising chickens and fish. Quang Kim, a commune in Ta Trang village near the capital of Lao Cai province in northern Viet Nam, is often hit by flash floods and landslides during the storm season. “The income of my family depends much on planting rice and selling chicken and fish, but all were buried by the flood in October last year,” said Ho Thi Nhung, 38, who lives here with her husband and two sons.
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[Press release] The Gender Equality Department, Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and UN Women launched the first ‘Directory of agencies and organizations supporting women and children survivors of gender-based violence and abuse’.