Welcome to the October 2019 Edition of the GEN Monthly Newsletter! October was filled with the working group meetings for the upcoming 16 Days of Activism campaign. Exciting things are coming ahead and we are anticipating to organize the 16 Days of Activism again this year.

We always request a GEN member, friend or staff to provide some insight into their participation with GEN. This month, we request NINU which is an active NGO/CSO GEN member to share their feelings and experience with GEN.


I’m Mai Len Nei Cer, the director of NINU. Our organization is based in Yangon, and we work for Chin community in Myanmar. We work particularly in Chin State.

It is our pleasure and honour to be part of the Gender Equality Network. We are also proud that the network has grown bigger and been able to work more broadly. I find GEN’s work towards the promotion of gender equality in Myanmar historical.

Among the things GEN is doing, I very much like the research about women. I’m also thankful that GEN shares the reports and other resources with the members. Thanks for the weekly information sharing sessions as well. I highly encourage your effort towards the enactment of the PoVAW law. Although the law is not adopted yet, I find not only the result but also the effort and attempts in the women's movements also important.

Although our work is based in Yangon, I’m sorry that I cannot participate in the activities of GEN because I travel to Chin State frequently. However, my mind is with GEN. Thanks GEN for your understanding and I wish you more success in the future.

GEN's Highlights

  1. Gender Equality Network conducted the Advocacy Training for the GEN members and CU staff from 2nd to 4th October at Melia Hotel in Yangon. Saya Aung Myo Min (Director, Equality Myanmar) facilitated the training and shared the different components of advocacy ranging from the concept and definition of advocacy to how to strategize for a successful advocacy process through role-play and group discussion. 29 participants (4 M, 25 F) from 14 member organizations attended the training. The participants actively participated and discussed during this three-day training and learned the advocacy techniques, steps, procedures and things to follow and avoid in advocacy. (LIFT)

A workshop was held with the parliamentarians in Hluttaw on 3rd October 2019 in Myitkyina as part of the policy dialogue initiative where the CSOs presented the findings of their assessment of policy-related issues to the parliamentarians, followed by a dialogue where the parliamentarians provided feedback and possible actions to take to respond to the problems presented. (EU)

GEN, in collaboration with Oxfam, organized a one-day workshop for parliamentarians on Gender Responsive Budgeting in Hluttaw on 4th October 2019 in Myikyina. A national mechanism for gender agenda was shared with the parliamentarians and discussed the operational status of the Women’s Committee for Kachin state. The workshop was participated actively by members of parliament from Kachin State Hluttaw with a total of 26 including 22 males and 4 females. (Trocaire)

A Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop on Constitutional Assessment on Women’s Equality (CAWE) was organized jointly with IDEA, GEN and Triangle Women from 7th to 10th October 2019 at Green Hill Hotel.  Eight members of GEN and eight members of Triangle Women had joined the TOT to be trainers on CAWE. The roll-out CAWE workshop will be organized in Taunggyi, Mandalay (led by GEN) and HpaAn and Myitkyina (led by Triangle Women). A roll-out CAWE workshop was also organized jointly by GEN and IDEA from 23rd to 25th October 2019 in Taunggyi, participated by 45 participants (9 Male, 36 Female) representing civil society, political parties, and parliamentarians.  (IDEA)

Engaging Men working group meeting and 16 Days working group meetings were held on 8th and 18th October 2019 at GEN's Resource Centre. At the Engaging Men working group meeting, members discussed the future work plan and at 16 Days working group meeting, working group members brainstormed the key messages for the upcoming 16 Days of Activism Campaign. (IDRC)

Gender Resource Center Opening Ceremony was successfully held on 9th October 2019 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at this center. This Gender Resource Center is established with the financial support of the European Union (EU), International Development Research Center (IDRC) and Livelihood and Food Security Fund (LIFT). About 40 participants from member organizations and donors were attended. At the ceremony, Edgard Rodriguez, Initiative Lead (Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar) of IDRC, delivered a welcome remark. A Program Manager (Governance) of Delegation of the European Union to Myanmar, Olivia Franck explained why the EU supported GEN to establish this Gender Resource Center, and Katy Webley, a Fund Director of LIFT, addressed future expectations on this Gender Resource Center. After that, a Steering Committee member of GEN, Khine Zar Lin presented a brief introduction on how and why this Center is set up and operated. The ceremony was ended by answering questions raised by the participants. (IDRC, EU, LIFT)

Gender Equality Network had meetings with parliamentarians on 3rd October 2019 in Myitkyinar and on 9th October 2019 in Mandalay. At the meetings, gender mainstreaming was discussed with the representatives from the CSOs and the parliamentarians from Mandalay region. CSO representatives presented the sectors where gender mainstreaming is required and the parliamentarians discussed the ways forward.

Gender Equality Network conducted a two-day Gender Responsive Budgeting Workshop from 7 to 8 Oct 2019 at the Link 78 Hotel in Mandalay. The workshop was started with the opening speech by GEN’s Head of policy advocacy and it was successfully accomplished by the active participation of Mandalay region parliamentarians with a total of 23 (3 F and 20 M). The participants also contributed fully their perspectives in the discussion session. (LIFT & Christian Aid)

GEN family paid homage to the elders from the network who are 60 years and above for Thadingyut festival. The elders also shared their joy and we celebrated the happy festival days together.

Gender Equality Network (GEN) and Business Coalition for Gender Equality (BCGE) co-organized the Gender Training and 20 representatives (1 M, 19 F) from the members of BCGE attended. These trainings are conducted for a better understanding of gender and gender-related subjects such as the definition of gender and gender mainstreaming will be shared. The 1st training was conducted on 18th October 2019 and the next trainings will be on 25th October and 1st November. (Trocaire)

Gender Equality Network organized a three-day “Transformative Feminist Leadership TOT Training” at the Gender Resource Center from 21st to 23rd October 2019. This TOT training was facilitated by experts from Gender Academy and actively participated by a total of 28 participants (27 F, 1 M) from GEN members and GEN-CU. All the attendees have fully engaged in practice facilitation sessions through a variety of methodologies with the group members respectively. During the training, participants enjoyed learning on Transformative Feminist Leadership from inputs, group presentations, and hands-on facilitation experiences. (LIFT)

Gender Equality Network met with the Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Dr. Win Myat Aye, on 29th October 2019 at Maykalar Hall, DSW office in Nay Pyi Taw. At the meeting, to organize the 16 Days of Activism in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, to have a discussion between the women organizations and the ministry to attend the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative Conference (PSVI), to get involved in the Joint Communique Committee, to cooperate with the ministry in the Committee on Status of Women Trip plan which will be organized in March 2020, to meet and have a discussion with the Protocol Board of MWWRR for the “Understanding Barriers and Working Pathways to Women’s Political Participation in Myanmar” research by GEN, to give more autonomy to the Co-Chairs of the technical working groups and the gender standard terminology were discussed in details.


Gender Equality Network conducted the Gender Mainstreaming Workshop for the “Masculine Identity Construction: Attitudes and Perceptions of Male Perpetrators on Sexual Violence against Women” research from 29th to 30th October 2019 at Grand Amara hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. 23 participants (6 M, 17 F) attended the workshop and the participants are the officials from the Prison Departments and DSW who came from Nay Pyi Taw, Pathein, Tharyarwady, Mandalay, Kyaikmayaw and Yangon. The Department of Social Welfare discussed the Myanmar National Committee on Women, CEDAW implementations and the NSPAW 2013 - 2020. About gender, gender mainstreaming, the previous research findings related the gender-based violence, and inputs for the upcoming research activities were discussed with the participants. (LIFT)

Meetings and Workshops attended as GEN's Representatives

27th September 2019 - GEN had been involved as co-chair on the protection of domestic workers working group since March 2018. On September 27, 2019, the working group conducted one workshop on the findings of legal analysis in line with ILO Convention 189 and Recommendation 201. The launching ceremony on Legal Analysis on the protection of Domestic Workers was held at Malia Hotel, Yangon attended by many UN, INGOs and LNGOs organization including media. The panel discussion was held to provide key findings of data analysis related to ILO convention and recommendation and GEN’s representative, Su Su Nge participated as moderator. The same event was also held in Mandalay on 18 October 2019.


3rd October 2019 - GEN Director, Daw May Sabe Phyu, engaged as a panelist in the panel discussion of Kachin Youth Forum on the 3rd of Oct 2019 at Orchid Hotel, lower Myanmar. The panel discussion was participated together with other three panelists from Kachin National Consultative Assembly, Shalom Foundation, Natural Resource Governance Institute( NRGI-MM). 


3rd October 2019 - Daw May Sabe Phyu attended a meeting with Assistant Secretary of US State Department at the American Center, Yangon. The meeting was also joined by International Exchange Alumni and other women leaders across Myanmar working on the different sector to create better future for the future generation. 


18th October 2019 - Director of Gender Equality Network, Daw May Sabe Phyu, joined the panel discussion together with the women leaders from different sectors at the International Day of the Girls event organized by the Plan International Myanmar on 18th October 2019 at Myanmar Plaza. She also hosted a one-day takeover for Ma Ya Min Pyae from Mogok as part of the #GirlsTakeover program by Plan International. Ma Ya Min Pyae took over the position of the director of GEN for a day and spent the day by visiting the GEN office and attending the meeting at the U.S. Embassy with Daw May Sabe Phyu. They had a very friendly conversation and it was such a fruitful day. It is our pleasure to support the young female leaders for the future and participate in this kind of initiative movement.


23rd October 2019 - Daw May Sabe Phyu joined as AGIPP for the Gender Policy development workshop with Kachin people party (KSPP) in Myitkyina on 23rd Oct 2019. 

25th October 2019 - GEN Director, Daw May Sabe Phyu, participated in AGIPP's Fourth Annual General Meeting at Palm Spring Hotel, Myitkyina, Kachin State. The meeting was from  24 October to 25 October 2019 and attended by its Steering Committee and v AGIPP’ seven alliance members: GDI, GEN, KSWN, MWN, Shalom, WAPAN, WON. There were 69 females and 15 males. At this meeting, evaluation of AGIPP's yearly activities was made and recommendations were requested from its 7 Alliance Partners. In addition, AGIPP’ secretariat team presented its upcoming activities and there was a discussion on how to improve AGIPP activities. In the afternoon of 25th Oct 2019, AGIPP Annual General Meeting participants visited and encouraged IDP from Myitkyinar and Wyne Maw IDP camps. 


26th October 2019 - GEN director, Daw May Sabe Phyu, enjoyed a lunch jointly hosted by British Ambassador to Myanmar Dan Chugg and Head of UK aid in Myanmar, Rurik Marsden. It was joined by participants from women's organizations across Myanmar and UN agencies working hard for eliminating all forms of gender-based violence including in conflict areas. The meeting was a fruitful moment before the upcoming Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI)  Conference in London. 


27th October 2019 - Daw May Sabe Phyu joined as panel for Myanmar National Human Rights Commission law reform workshop at Summit Parkview Hotel, Yangon on 27 Oct 2019. The workshop was co-hosted by USAID, Parliamentary Centered People Support Group (Myanmar) and Fhi360. She participated in the panel session with a panelist from Myanmar Human Rights Commission and a legal consultant and it was a fruitful discussion.