Welcome to the February 2020 Edition of the GEN Monthly Newsletter! As the International Women’s Day is getting closer, we are preparing to host the campaign again. As a special program, champion for gender equality will be given to an individual or organization working towards gender equality in Myanmar. Let’s find out the awardee at the International Women’s Day campaign on 8th March.

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



My name is Mai T Sui Leng and I’m the director of the Women’s Hand Myanmar Foundation (WHMF). It is my pleasure to write a greeting letter for the GEN’s monthly newsletter.

I still remember how I knew Gender Equality Network. I think it was in 2012 - I attended the strategy review workshop of the Women Protection Technical Working Group (now Gender Equality Network) held at the Aung San museum. At that workshop, I realized that the standpoint, vision and activities of my organization are pretty similar with that of GEN’s. In other words, we share the things that we care about. Ever since, I become more involved in the monthly meetings, workshops and research conducted by GEN. I noticed that although GEN used English language at the monthly meetings, Myanmar language is used at the request of the members. And it is beneficial for the CSOs/NGOs. Now there are (104) GEN members.

As Women’s Hand Myanmar Foundation (WHMF), we are always proud to be a GEN member.

Let me conclude that WHM will keep cooperating with GEN until there is gender equality Myanmar.


GEN’s Highlights

Qualitative Research Workshop for "Understanding Barriers and Working Pathways to Women's Political Participation in Myanmar" study supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) was conducted on 31st January and 1st February 2020 at Novotel Hotel. GEN-CU staff, network members who will involve in the research, government officials from the Department of Social Welfare, professors from the Gender and Development studies of the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand attended the workshop and there were 19 participants (15 F, 4 M). The aim of this workshop is to inform the purpose of the research to the participants and get them familiar with the research design, data collection tools, and methodology. (IDRC)

A team of Gender Equality Network met with the chief minister of Yangon Region, U Phyo Min Thein, on 10th February 2020 at the Yangon Region Government office. The chief minister and GEN mainly discussed for the upcoming International Women's Day and the future collaboration between the government and the CSOs on women empowerment activities. 


Press conference for the upcoming International Women’s Day Campaign on 8th March and the champion for gender equality award was held on 25th March at Sule Shangrila Hotel. At the press conference, working group member Sayarma Su Su Nge explained the history of the International Women’s Day and Sayarma Yee Mon Oo shared about the working group and the previous campaigns. Next, Sayarma Mai T Sui Leng talked about the upcoming activities of the International Women’s Day and Dr Sid Naing explained the purpose of giving the champion for gender equality award.(LIFT, Trocaire, Christian Aid, UNFPA, Ipas)


With the support of EU, DCA NCA and Gender Equality Network co-organized the “CSO Learning Forum” of the Empowered Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities Promoting Gender Equality in Myanmar project on 27th and 28th February 2020 at the Regency Hotel in Nyung Oo. A total of 114 participants from CSOs from Mandalay, Myitkyinar, Taunggyi and Hpa An attended the forum. At the forum, the current progress of CSOs, their difficulties and success were discussed and the way forward was developed. The participants did group discussions; success stories were shown; and edutainment performance was delivered. (EU)


Meetings and Workshops Attended by GEN’s Representatives

On the 27th of Janurary 2020, Daw May Sabe Phyu as a Director of GEN delivered an opening remark at the opening ceremony of "She Leads Advanced Training" at which she shared her personal reflections on the need for women's leadership in Myanmar and provided motivation to the participants to carry out their valuable contribution for the future of the country. IFES hosted this training to empower women's leadership skill, knowledge and decision making at the state and regional level.

On 28th January, GEN’s director had a meeting with IDRC for future planning and strategy at the Mandalay GEN office. They discussed mainly on GEN’s current activities, planning and common issue of MDY region.

GEN director, Daw May Sabe Phyu and two Steering Committee Members of GEN, Daw Kyawt Kyawt Khaing and Daw Nang Phyu Phyu Lin attended the first quarterly steering committee meeting and future planning meeting organized by AGIPP from 12 February to 14 February 2020 at Best Western Green Hill hotel in Yangon. AGIPP's Seven alliance partners and secretariat team joined the meeting. During the meeting, SC members and secretariat team shared  project activities, reviewed AGIPP’s polices and plan strategy for AGIPP’s future work.

Director of GEN, Daw May Sabe Phyu together with Daw Kyawt Kyawt Khaing, a steering committee member of GEN participated in the "UPDJC Working Committee Women Group Informal Meeting" organized by  Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process (AGIPP) for the second time at Best Western Green Hill hotel in Yangon. The discussion for the coming activities and action plan was happend between Women leaders from UPDJC working committee members and Steering Committee member of AGIPP. There were a total 26 participants including 24 females and 2 males joined the meeting.


According to the invitation of Myanmar-United States Friendship Association (MUSFA), Daw May Sabe Phyu, a director of Gender Equality Network, participated in "Myanmar Beyond 2020: Change Makers Conference where she involved as a panelists at a breakout session under the topic" Social Issues and the role of Civil Society" on 13 Feb 2020. That conference was hosted by MUSFA with the U.S Alumni and held from 13 to 14 February 2020.

Director of Gender Equality Network, Daw May Sabe Phyu, was filmed to participate in "MRTV's Current Affairs" Program at MRTV Studio, Yangon. In the program, she highlighted why PoVAW is an essential bill in Myanamar to secure women's safety and empower women's potential in different sectors.


On 20th February 2020, GEN Director attended "Seminar on Strengthening Gender Equality in the Delivery of Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP)" together with Daw Pansy Tun Thien, an advisor of GEN, and Daw Nang Phyu Phyu Lin, a Steering Committee member of GEN. The representatives from GEN involve in the panel discussion of supporting MSDP Delivery from civil society and Integrating GEWE in the work of MPs. The seminar was joined by 30 MPs from Pyithu Hluttaw and 28 MPs from Amyotha Hluttaw and took place at Kimpaski Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. The seminar was organized for the parliamentarians to identify the role of parliamentarians in supporting and delivery of the MSDP. Panel Discussion, and group discussion resulted in identifying the specific roles for the parliamentarians on how they can provide support in implementing the MSDP.


On 25 February 2020, Daw May Sabe Phyu joined as a chair of AGIPP (Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process) at "Seminar on The Role of Parliament in Peace Building Processes" which is organized by Inter-Parliamentary from 24-26 Feb 2020 at Kempinski Hotel, Naypyitaw . At the seminar, she participated as a panelist why Inclusivity and ensuring No-one is Left Behind in Building Durable Peace is important. The seminar was filled with the interested union-level member of parliaments.


Director of GEN, Advisor and Co-Chair of GEN Steering Committee participated in the consultation meeting on PoVAW law organized by the Department of Social Welfare in NayPyiTaw on 17 February 2020. Participated by government officials from various Ministries, parliamentarians, partners in development, INGOs and NGO representatives, the consultation meeting was opened by the Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Dr. Win Mya Aye and the Director General of DSW, Dr. San San Aye presented the contents of the PoVAW, followed by questions from the audience.


GEN Advisor conducted a Gender Mainstreaming Training for the management team of JICA in their office in Yangon from 24-26 February 2020 with the emphasis on mainstreaming gender in project planning, implementation, developing gender sensitive indicators and monitoring and evaluation.