Warm greetings from Burnet Institute Myanmar and myself. I’m Phone Myint Win, country representative of the Burnet Institute Myanmar that carries out its mission to achieve better health for vulnerable communities by accelerating the translation of research, discovery and evidence into sustainable health solutions with a deep commitment to gender equity and equality across all our activities.
After the renewal of our GEN membership in 2019, we felt a sense of belonging in a community of like-mindedness, goodwill and social justice. We appreciate GEN as a good learning platform for people who are individually or collectively working and advocating for women’s rights, gender equity and gender equality. There won't be a better example than the Zoom training on “What is SOGIESC and Why it is concerned with non-LGBT” for this purpose. GEN activities also timely and rightly responded to major changes in the environment. It was proven for instance in “Engaging Men Working Group” consultation meeting that addressed a surge in domestic violence during COVID 19 from men engagement perspective particularly through media messaging. GEN provides members with useful information and resources through a various means including monthly meetings, Wednesday information sharing sessions, monthly newsletters, trainings and definitely the Gender Resource Centre. The Year-End meeting in 2019 was a great event that combined celebration, social connection, knowledge sharing, and fun activities.
I congratulate the GEN and all members for your great jobs contributing to promoting women’s rights, gender equity and gender equality. Looking forward to achieving further success.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started in Myanmar, GEN has responded to it by donating the protection materials to the places that are in need. In April and May, GEN made donations in the project areas; Kachin State, Shan State, Mandalay division, and Karen State and Yangon and Chin State additionally included. In June, GEN donated foot-operated water basins to the vocational schools of the Department of Social Welfare in different states and regions.
As June is the pride month, GEN celebrated this special month to promote the rights of LGBT people by organising campaigns on social media. Every Tuesday, a quote of one type of LGBT person was posted on the GEN’s Facebook page and the featured people shared encouraging words and their journey. In collaboration with the LGBT Rights Network, GEN supported their social media activities via online campaign. This activity is funded by Christian Aid.
Live Discussion: Covid-19, Gender and Election (Viewership – 3.3k / Engagement – 540)
Online Discussion: Media and Gender (Viewership – 9.3k / Engagement – 1k)
Facebook Link - https://www.facebook.com/genmyanmar/videos/2966074396780997/
Online Discussion: Pride for Own Identity (Viewership – 3.7k)
Also, GEN initiated a weekly fun quiz program with informative facts via GEN Facebook Page in June. The quiz questions were based on the issue of LGBT, gender and Women Participation in the Political field. More than a hundred audiences regularly participated at every quiz program and it was an effective public awareness tool to gain public interest and was informed in a short time.
Since Covid-19 is affecting people across the world regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and nation, Gender Equality Network conducted a series of interviews with the experts from relevant fields to better understand the impact of of those who are more vulnerable than others. The following interview topics were conducted in this month;
In order to know the difficulties and challenges of those who are experiencing the impacts of Covid-19, Gender Equality Network (GEN) conducted a series of interviews with the experts from relevant fields. This time, we made an interview with the president of Taw Win Khayay, Sayarma Hnin Hnin Yu, to be able to know the impact of Covid-19 on female sex workers. During the interview, Sayarma shared how female sex workers are facing Covid-19, their different difficulties and challenges, and encouraged to protect the existence of female sex workers and acknowledge their life difficulties. GEN would like to thank Sayarma Hnin Hnin Yu for this informative interview.
Facebook Link - https://www.facebook.com/genmyanmar/videos/609253833306886/
Gender Equality Network made an interview with Sayarma Soe Moe Oo, Country Coordinator at ABILIS Foundation, Information & Communication Officer at Myanmar Federation of Persons with Disabilities, to know the impact of Covid-19 on the people with disability and already uploaded the video on our page. Now, we would like to share a new version of the video in which the sign language is embedded. Many thanks to Sayarma Soe Moe Oo for your time and informative interview.
Facebook Link - https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=936122396814139
To lift the morale of our GEN-CU staff during the gloomy Covid-19 period, GEN organized a psychosocial support training on 2nd and 3rd June via Zoom. Sayarma Daw Nang Phyu Phyu Lin conducted as a trainer and this training shared ways to improve emotion, tips on emotional management, and how to alleviate emotional damage.
GEN organization Capacity Building Program, a project run by GEN and DCA-NCA, is funded by the European Union’s three-day training course using the Zoom application online from June 17 to 19, 2020. The trainers were led by U Aung Swe Myint from DCA-NCA and were co-facilitators of Ma Phyu Phyu Theint and Ma Zon Phyu Linn. We discussed the Project, Program, Plan, situation analysis, problem analysis and stakeholder analysis, Logical Framework, Indicators, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Gender Equality Network organized the “What is SOGIESC? Why is it also concerned with Non-LGBTs?” on 12th June from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm for GEN members and CU staff via Zoom and Ko Nay Lin Htike facilitated the training. Gender identity and other related knowledge, sex characteristics and gender characteristics which result from the biological process were discussed and participants were asked to share their perspective and opinions.
Ko Win Pike Myo (Training Coordinator) represented GEN in a round table discussion via Zoom named “Domestic Violence during Covid period” organized by DVB TV as a special session on 22nd June 2020. The other discussants are Ma Sandar Win (Director, Future Women Association), Ma Khin Hnin Phway (Psychosocial Supporter), Mi Kun Chan Non (Chair, Mon Women's Organisation). In the discussion, Ko Win Pike Myo highlighted on how men should cooperate to reduce the domestic violence cases during Covid-19 period.
Ko Win Pike Myo (Training Coordinator) represented GEN at the panel discussion related to election reporting organized by ANFREL via Zoom for the participants of Journalist in Myanmar on Reporting Election TOT Program and he participated in the discussion from women and gender equality perspective. The discussion focused on how women MPs were described in the previous election, the weaknesses on how media today portrays women and that women should be prioritized in the upcoming election from the gender equality perspective. Sayar Nay Lin Soe, Saya Hla Myat Tun, Sayarma Nan Paw Gay participated, and Sayar Zayar Hlaing from Myanmar News Council led the discussion. There were 16 participants.
12 June 2020 – GEN had an online interview with the Consultant, Ms. Alina Meyer, reviewing IDEA- STEP program related to the CAWE trainings that GEN had led. Also covered are issues related to “Political Participation of Women in Myanmar.
17 June 2020 – GEN had an interview with MyPol project lead on police handling of cases and violations and interactions with the civilians. I discussed about the role of GEN in providing GBV trainings to ATTF police force as a good practice.
25 June 2020 - As a pre-discussion for the celebration of Myanmar Women’s Day 2020, organized by MNCW, GEN participated in the virtual panel on “Health Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in Myanmar”. It focused on the role and challenges of women in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the health service providers are responding to the pandemic depicting their experiences.
26 June 2020 - As a pre-discussion for the celebration of Myanmar Women’s Day 2020, GEN participated in the MNCW organized a virtual dialogue on “Economic Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in Myanmar”. The discussion focused on current insights, prospects for recovery and resilience building, specifically the impact of COVID-19 on women in the private sector, and women entrepreneurs. Also focused on promoting women's leadership and building resilience among women.
From 4th June to 5th June, GEN Director attended the second quarterly Steering Committee hold by Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process through the online meeting, Zoom. It was attended by AGIPP alliance partners and the secretariat team to discuss and update further project activities. A total of 21 including 2 males and 19 women joined the meeting.
From 9.6.2020 to 15.6.2020, Daw May Sabe Phyu, GEN Director joined as a moderator in Online Global Consultations by UNDP. In the consultations, they discussed three themes such as Theme one; role of women in post-conflict economic decision-making, Theme two; the role of women in political planning and local peace-building and Theme three; ensuring women engage in decision-making in the response to COVID-19.
On 15.6.2020, Daw May Sabe Phyu joined an online meeting with Myanmar National Committee for Women (MNCW) for Myanmar Women`s Day Celebration through online activities. The meeting decided to have online panel discussions, virtual event on the 3 July opening by the State Counsellor and planting trees by each MNCW member.
On 16.6.2020, GEN Director joined an online meeting with Mr. Tom Andrews, NEW UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar. The meeting is the introduction of women's rights and gender equality situation in Myanmar and how to collaborate with the women's civil society organizations in the future.
On 18.6.2020, Daw May Sabe Phyu participated in International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, GEN Director told to UNFPA Myanmar that why she calls on the authorities, armed actors, civil society and the international community to commit to working together in the same spirit to fight against gender-based violence.
On 23.6.2020, Director of GEN joined Beijing +25 Virtual Summit jointly launched by The Rockefeller Foundation Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and Secretory Hillary Rodham Clinton. The virtual summit was attended by 25 former presidents, foreign ministers, and leading activists and declared bold recommendations to accelerate progress for women and girls worldwide with a media statement.
On 25.6.2020, GEN Director, along with the Co-chairs of GEN joined the tree plantation which is a pre-celebration for Myanmar Women Day. The plantation ceremony took place at the community center yard of Pyi Gyi Khin in East Dagon, Yangon. GEN’s team planted a total of six different plants and welcomed Myanmar Women’s Day.
Though the office is not fully re-open yet, we do try our best to continue our activities online. Thus, we have regular monthly CU all-staff meeting. Its agenda is Greeting, Team Presentation (activities plan and plan for next month), Sharing from SMT, AOB, Next meeting Plan.
On 30.6.2020, Daw May Sabe Phyu joined She Counts Campaign which organized by UNFPA Myanmar. The aiming of She Counts Campaign is to change harmful attitudes and practices which do not value women and girls and develop equality in society. In the campaign, she shows her standing for equal rights for girl like her daughter, so they can stay in school, prepare for employment, learn about their choices and shape their own futures.
The original advocacy brief mainly mentioned 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 already produced this publication in Myanmar language and other ethnic languages, brill and sign language as well. This time, GEN has converted the advocacy brief into a video in which the sign language is embedded. The publication was supported by LIFT and UNFPA.