Welcome to the April 2020 Edition of the GEN Monthly Newsletter. Happy Myanmar New Year to all of you and GEN wishes you prosperity, safety, good health, and happiness.
We always request a GEN member, friend, or staff to provide some insight into their participation with GEN. This month, we request Dr. Soe Lwin which is an active TRP GEN member to share his feelings and experience with GEN.
My name is Dr. Soe Lwin, a TRP from GEN. Currently, I founded the Well-Being Counselling and Psychological Services and offering the translation, interpretation, research, counseling, and MHPPS training as a freelance service provider.
I have known GEN since 2014 and I worked as a Research and Training Coordinator at the GEN Coordination Unit. GEN was a small organization back then. Although I was the only male staff at that time, I felt like it was my second home. However, I received stares from people meaning what is this man doing in a gender network. I assume there are fewer of them now. I am happy to see that people no longer believe gender is only for women and they are more open-minded which indicates better situations ahead.
GEN was not quite well-known when I started working there. Instead of having to explain what GEN is in greeting, people know GEN now. As a former CU staff and an existing TRP, I’m glad and proud to see GEN is expanding in its work and as a network. GEN has already had a lot of success milestones. Nevertheless, the journey is still ahead with a lot of tasks to do. I’m ready to reinforce and contribute my expertise as a TRP. Best wishes to GEN to stay on track and reach the target with the strength of the members.
Although GEN wasn’t able to hold International Women’s Day on 8th March as planned due to Covid- 19 emergency, public awareness-raising activities were conducted via media platforms; mass media and social media. From the first week of May to the first week of April, different forms of public awareness-raising activities reached the general public through TV programs, radio, and Facebook page. IECs related to International Women’s Day were distributed to the public through organizations that were able to hold the event. The theme of International Women’s Day this year is “Each for Equal”. Through the International Women’s Day Facebook page, theme competition, photo competition, and weekly quiz competitions were conducted to get public engagement. Moreover, awareness-raising videos that featured Song Thin par (Singer), Ma Win Min Than (Beauty Blogger), and Ma Phyo Sandar Soe (CTUM) were produced. As the TV programs, a debate show of DVB media titled “Can women make the decision” was broadcast, and involved in Khit Thit Pyo May TV show by MRTV media to discuss International Women’s Day made. Through Mandalay FM, songs and awareness-raising messages related to women's rights were aired to the general public.
International Women's Day Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/genmyanmar.org/
Khit Thit Pyo May Program - https://bit.ly/3a65F0l
Covid-19 has been affecting many people from all over the world regardless of age, social status, religion, race, and color. For the response against Covid-19, Gender Equality Network donated 18 items of supplies (face masks, hand sanitizers, face shields, PPEs, etc;) which worth 37,345,500MMK to Department of Social Welfare with the support of LIFT. Those supplies will be delivered to GEN’s project areas: Yangon and Mandalay divisions, Kachin, Kayin, and Shan States. The respective GEN’s regional coordinators led to work with regional departments of social welfare for the supply donation. This is the first time and some more donations will be there as soon as after GEN receives upcoming ordered items. Many thanks to LIFT for making this donation to fight against Covid-19.
The news report that there’s a spike in domestic violence because of economic and social pressure during Covid-19 quarantine and lockdown period. In order to raise awareness on this issue, Gender Equality Network created a message video with Ma Win Min Than, a well-known social influencer. The key messages of domestic violence and helplines to call are including in this video which is supported by LIFT.
The Covid-19 pandemic is becoming a major threat to all earthling nowadays. Along with Covid-19 pandemic, Gender issue is raising as a consequence in different sectors of society. Gender Equality Network tried to organize relevant interview series to Covid-19 in different sectors as a response of Covid-19. People from IDP camps are being threatened by this disease Covid-19. In order to know the current situation in IDP camps, Gender Equality Network made an interview with Sayama Hkawn Mai (NeT) about health issues, security-related difficulties, and challenges of internally displaced persons due to the ongoing conflicts. Plus, news reports that there is a surge in domestic violence all over the world during the Covid-19 period. Gender Equality Network had an interview session with Sayama Thuzar Tin (Director, Women’s Federation for Peace) to understand the Covid-19 impacts upon domestic violence. Sayama Thuzar Tin explained what can be regarded as domestic violence, what should be done to eliminate domestic violence, and how to get support when one experiences domestic violence. Many thanks to all of the participants for informative and insightful interviews. These interview series are supported by LIFT.
Covid- 19 & IDP - https://www.facebook.com/genmyanmar/videos/1106699733022303/
Youtube - https://youtu.be/zFFmT5DMv1M
Covid- 19 & Domestic Violence
Part 1 Youtube - https://youtu.be/eZcDv1SMuuM
Part 2 Youtube - https://youtu.be/OWuIqP4HMUQ
GEN organized a Zoom meeting with the Director-General (DG) of the Departement of Social Welfare (DSW) via the Zoom platform for GEN’s work plan 2020, Rakhine Mapping Report and COVID-19 responses on April 22, 2020. It was a productive meeting by showing interest and appreciation of DSW on GEN’s work and also gave guidance in the implementation of GEN’s work plan 2020.
GEN organized LIFT Strategic Partners meeting with the Director-General (DG) of the Departement of Social Welfare (DSW) via the Zoom platform on April 24, 2020. Director of GEN facilitated and four LIFT Strategic Partners; Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS), Land Core Group (LCG), Metta Development Foundation, and Network Activity Group(NAG) involved in the meeting. It is the first meeting between LIFT Strategic Partners and DG of DSW in order to build a relationship for future collaboration especially for the response of Covid19 to avoid overlapping or gapping in the thematic areas and geographical areas in Myanmar.
Director of GEN-CU involved in the research interview of Burmese Women Union on Women, Peace & Security as an interviewee and shared her knowledge and expertise of the issue of Gender, Women's Rights, Peace, and Security in Myanmar.
Director of GEN attended the following online meetings and contributed by sharing knowledge and experiences at the discussions of each meeting.
1. Covid-19 and Gender Advocacy Brief
This Advocacy brief is It mainly mentioned of how Covid19 impacts on Women and girls in South Ease Asia Country. Due to Covid19, women and girls have to carry out more domestic chores without income, increasing gender-based violence and protection issues and other impacts related to gender. GEN has produced this publication in Myanmar language and plans to produce with other ethnic languages, brill and sign language as well. The publication was supported by LIFT and UNFPA.
2. Domestic Violence Awareness Poster
Covid-19 quarantine and lockdown cause a surge in domestic violence and this is an awareness-raising poster to the general public. It provides the education of domestic violence as well as the information of hotline numbers to access emergency help. GEN has produced this publication in Myanmar language and plans to produce with ethnic languages, brill, and sign language as well. The publication was supported by LIFT and UNFPA.
3. GEN’s Annual Report
The annual report of GEN 2019 reveals the achievements of GEN, highlighted activities of GEN have carried out throughout 2019, and the resources that GEN developed in 2019. It is one of the external communications materials for those who are working with GEN and have the interest to work with GEN in the future.
Publications Link - https://genmyanmar.org/research_and_publications