Welcome to the November 2019 Edition of the GEN Monthly Newsletter! 16 Days of Activism has started in November and GEN and its members are busy with the campaign. This year, 16 Days of Activism events will be held in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon and everyone is excited to organize.

We always request a GEN member, friend or staff to provide some insight into their participation with GEN. This month, we request Ma Nang May Phu Mon which is an active TRP GEN member to share her feelings and experience with GEN.



My name is Nang May Phu Mon and I am currently employed by Oxfam in Myanmar as a gender program adviser in Yangon. Before Oxfam, I worked as a technical adviser for the gender-based violence prevention and response projects at CARE international Myanmar for over 4 years. I heard about Gender Equality Network through its research and publication since 2012 and I was really impressed by its work. I became one of the technical resource persons at GEN last September 2019 and it has been such a privilege working with the GEN coordination unit and its diverse members across Myanmar.

It is true that GEN has undergone significant changes and growth since its inception in 2008 and it is astonishing to witness how GEN has been challenging and questioning culturally and socially ingrained gender norms and deeply-rooted patriarchy in Myanmar. GEN offers a space for deep discussion, exchange, and inspiration. It strengthens feminist/gender movements and promotes gender equality and women's rights in Myanmar through its coordinated engagement and action. It's always been a pride to be a part of GEN where I can contribute and learn from its evidence-based advocacy and campaigns, capacity building programs and most importantly, the gender resource center. I really hope that GEN will always keep the momentum going and nurture the positive and healthy relationship with its diverse members until a day where all kinds of women in Myanmar can live a life free from violence. 


GEN's Highlights

Gender Equality Network conducted the mid-term review during October and November in the project areas: Myitkyinar, Mandalay, Hpa An, and Taunggyi. This review is for the Empowered Civil Society Organizations and Local Authorities Promoting Gender Equality in Myanmar project and the review program was conducted in collaboration with the local authorities, members of parliament, CSOs and the responsible persons from the regional MNCW. (EU)

Resource Center Coordinator and Policy Dialogue Coordinator of GEN attended the Alcohol and GBV workshop conducted on 31st October and 1st November 2019 in Kayin State and participated in the discussion from the gender perspective. (LIFT)


Gender Equality Network conducted a one-day Gender and GBV Workshop with the Theatrical Performance Group on 2nd November 2019. The Theatrical Performance Group is led by Ko Phoe Chit and there were 40 participants including the comedians, composers, Myanmar traditional dancers, presenters, scriptwriters, actors and actresses of drama. This is a preparation workshop for the 16 Days of Activism campaign and Sayarma Nang Phyu Phyu Lin acted as a facilitator. The participants learned about gender, gender-based violence, and common stereotypes. The participants actively participated in the discussion and expressed their opinions and points of view. (LIFT)

16 Days of Activism Working Group meeting was held on 8th November 2019, at Gender Resource Center. At the meeting, working group members updated their activities and the ways forward. GEN also updated the previous activities and the status of the ongoing process. (IDRC)

Gender Equality Network participated in the report launch: “In the shadows - Systemic Injustice based on sexual orientation and Gender Identity / Expression in Myanmar” organized by LGBT Rights Network, Colors Rainbow, Kings N Queens, and Equality Myanmar and held on 8th and 9th November 2019 at Sedona Hotel. This highlights the outdated laws that continue to affect the lives of LGBTQ people, including Section 377 of the Penal Code which criminalizes consensual same-sex conduct. During this two-day event, representatives from LGBT organizations across Myanmar, legal experts, experts from CSO working on human rights and experts from Nepal and Malaysia working on LGBT issues attended and discussed. (Trocaire)


Gender Equality Network attended the Joint Communiqué meeting on Prevention and Response to Conflict-related sexual violence held on 13th November 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw. During the meeting, six priority areas of Joint Communiqué and the measures outlined under Paragraph 10 of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2106 were discussed. (LIFT)

Gender Equality Network team met with the Speaker of Shan State Hluttaw on 8th November 2019 at their meeting room and presented the work that GEN is undertaking and the upcoming project activities in the field areas. It was such a cordial meeting and the GEN team received guidance from the Speaker. (Trocaire)


Gender Equality Network participated in the Job Fair organized by the US Embassy on 15th November 2019 in Myitkyinar, Kachin State by opening a booth and distributing the IEC materials. University students and teachers, CSOs, INGOs and NGOs and the community attended. (EU)

Gender Equality Network attended the UPR State Report CSOs Workshop organized by the Office of the Attorney General of Myanmar on 15th November 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw. At the workshop, Union Attorney General of Myanmar, U Htun Htun Oo, gave the opening remark and the participants discussed in groups. (LIFT)


The Gender Standard Terminology consultation workshop was held on 19th November 2019 at the Sule Shangrila Hotel to standardize the terminology of women’s rights and gender equality which is designed to be easily implemented in Myanmar, for the organizations, such as CSO, NGO, INGO, UN agencies, researchers, students who are studying gender-related subjects, policy and lawmakers, governments stakeholders who are working on the development of policy and legislation and donor agencies. The workshop was organized by Gender Equality Network with the support of IDRC funding by the Canada Government. There were total (43) participants, (10) males, (32) females, and (2) others from (37) organizations who are actively working for women’s rights and gender equality. The workshop was conducted for the second time and consultation on over 130 terminologies related to women’s rights to be standardized and the benefits are the exact terminological accuracy and clear definitions - especially for the book publishers. (Trocaire)

Under the guidance of Myanmar National Committee on Women and with the support of UNFPA, preparation meeting for the 16 Days of Activism and Violence Against Women Technical working group meeting is held on 22nd November 2019 at Thingaha hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. A total of 72 participants including the MNCW and its members, Members of Parliamentarians, Myanmar Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs, General Administration Department, Union Government Office, Department of Myanmar Education Research Bureau, Department of Public Health, Supreme Court of Myanmar, Union Attorney Office, VAW TWG members, case supervisors from the Department of Social Welfare and regional offices of DSW attended the workshop. In the first part of the workshop, the Department of Social Welfare presented the services for GBV and analysis of the current implementations. In the second part, under the facilitation of Sayarma May Sabe Phyu, group discussions on the services for the violence against women and the coordination of the departments were conducted.


Violence against Women and Girls Technical Working Group meeting of the National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women was held on 22nd November 2019 at Thingaha Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. Participants discussed the implementations of the NSPAW priority areas and the outcomes from the preparation meeting for the 16 Days of Activism. Gender Equality Network and the working group members attended the meeting. (UNFPA)

Gender Equality Network conducted the Gender Responsive Budgeting workshop on 22nd November 2019 at the Royal Taunggyi Hotel in Taunggyi. Members of Parliament of the Shan State and the office staff from the Shan State Parliament attended the workshop and there were 27 participants (7 M, 20 F) in total. Participants learned the gender concept, CEDAW, NSPAW and how to integrate gender budgeting in the budget cycle. (Trocaire)

Gender Equality Network participated in the 16 Days of Activism event organized by the Department of Social Welfare, Yangon and the Myanmar National Committee on Women on 25th November. Minister of Social Affairs, U Naing Ngan Lin and the government officials from the police department, department of education, department of nursing attended and there were over 500 participants.

Gender Equality Network conducted a half-day meeting with the members of parliamentarians of Shan State on 25th November 2019 in Taunggyi and discussed the implementation of gender-responsive policies to achieve gender equality. At the meeting, CSOs presented the sectors in which gender needs to be considered and MPs also presented the current practices and the ways forward. There were 32 participants (8 M, 24 F). (EU)

16 Days of Activism event organized by the Myanmar National Committee on Women was held on 25th November at Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. The theme this year is Generation Equality Stands Against Rape!”. 300 participants including the Union Election Commission, Myanmar National Committee on Women, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Pyithu Hluttaw, Chairman of the Committee on the Human Rights, Democracy and Basic Rights of the Citizens, Chairman of the Women and Child Rights Committee from Pyithu Hluttaw, Secretaries, Wives of the Union Ministers, Members of Parliament, Deputy Representative of UNFPA, Directors, Deputy Directors, Representatives from the related departments, Members of MNCW, representatives from INGOs/NGOs attended the event. GEN distributed the IEC materials related to the 16 Days of Activism. (UNFPA)

Gender Equality Network attended the Women, Peace and Security Technical Working Group meeting held on 26th November 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw. At the meeting, things related to the gender leadership curriculum, the draft Policy Brief on Return, Relief and Resettlement policy for Non-Conflict Areas and Conflict Areas and the success, challenges and ongoing activities of the working group during 2019 were discussed.


GEN hosted the second meeting of the Task Force on Gender Curriculum Development for Civil Servants, as part of the activities of the TWG Mainstreaming, held at the Gender Resource Centre in Yangon on 29th November 2019.  The members reviewed the various existing gender curriculum of different organizations and agreed on the frame of the Curriculum including methodology and information to be included in the curriculum. Once finalized, the curriculum will be used by the Union Civil Service Board for the training of civil servants.

Meetings and Workshops Attended by GEN’s Representatives

2nd to 10th November 2019 – Director of Gender Equality Network, Daw May Sabe Phyu, attended the ICAN’s 8th Annual Women, Peace, and Security Forum held from 4th to 7th November 2019 in Oslo, Norway. The forum brings together the growing membership of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) from over 38 countries and other key international actors with Norwegian civil society and policymakers. The 4-day event focused on situational and trend analysis regarding the threat of violent extremism and conflict, as well as lesson sharing regarding effective strategies and tactics to mitigate violence and promote peace, rights, and security at the local level. The forum sessions included WASL plenary and small group discussions on being women peacebuilders and WASL breakout sessions on how to stand with women peacebuilders. On the evening of 5th November, Her Royal Highness The Coutless of Wessex of the Royal Family hosted the participants a reception at the British embassy and had a friendly conversation with them.

7th to 8th November 2019 – Research Manager of Gender Equality Network attended the “ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Workshop on Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women through ICTs towards Achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development” held from 7th to 8th November 2019 in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The workshop focused on promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women through Regional and International Frameworks, roles of ICTs in Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Towards Achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the recommendations for Effectively Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women through ICTs towards Achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Research Manager participated and discussed as a CSO representative from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

11th to 16th November 2019 - GEN Adviser participated in the two Advisory Group meetings where GEN has been serving as a member of the Advisory Group. Both events were organized by International Rescue Committee in Enteppe, Uganda,  (i)  The Listen Up project which is a 3 year project funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) with the goal to amplify the voices and power of women and girls to catalyze institutional reform, inter-agency action and increased resources to reduce sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse. (ii) Building Local, Thinking Global: composed of women's rights organizations, GBV networks and local GBV civil society organizations. The Advisory group assessed the challenges and achievements of the project and brainstormed on future activities. 

13th to 15th November 2019 – Head of Operation, Daw Khaing Khaing Win Thein, and Head of Program, Okkar Shein, joined the Annual Programme Review Workshop of Trocaire held in Dawei. At the first day of the workshop, a field visit was conducted to meet beneficiaries of Trocaire’s Partner Organizations, Phan Tee Eain and Thingaha. During the second and third days of the workshop, achievements and challenges during the last year were shared among participants, and based on the lessons learned from last year, future direction and implementation strategies of each partner organization were discussed. It was a productive and important workshop which shaped a better collaboration and coordination among Trocaire, GEN, and other partner organizations in implementing gender-related initiatives across the country.


14 November 2019 - GEN Director attended 3rd Religions for Peace Advisory Forum on National Reconciliation and Peace in Nay Pyi Taw. RfP Advisory Forum brings together senior leaders from Myanmar government including H.E. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, diverse religious communities, ethnic organizations, political parties and civil society organizations for a national-level dialogue on a wide range of issues that matter for the people of Myanmar.

24th November 2019 - GEN director joined the preparation meeting for the 3rd Youth Festival, which will be held from 14 to 16 December 2019 in Magwe. The meeting was invited by DSW and the day finished with the dinner meeting with the panelists who will speak at 16 Days of Activism event on 25 Nov 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw.

26th November 2019 - GEN director was present as a panelist at the exclusive launch of “The guidelines for Political Parties in Myanmar on Gender Equality - A shortcut to Development and Prosperity”. The event was organized by the Myanmar School of Politics at Grand Amara Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw.


26th November 2019 - Director of GEN, Daw May Sabe Phyu, attended the WPS TWG meeting as a chair of Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process (AGIPP) and it was held at Park Royal Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw on 26th of November 2019. During the meeting, the draft Policy Brief on Return, Relief and Resettlement policy for Non-Conflict Areas and Conflict Areas was discussed.


27th November 2019 - GEN director, Daw May Sabe Phyu, provided an opening speech at CSFoP's 23rd Forum organized at the Panda Hotel in Yangon.

30th November 2019 - GEN director, Daw May Sabe Phyu, facilitated the Draft PoVAW law consultation workshop and 16 Days Activism event in Hpa Kant on 30 November 2019 with the invitation of Kachin Social Development Foundation.