Welcome to the November 2020 Edition of the GEN Monthly Newsletter. In November, GEN’s annual member assembly was successfully held via Zoom. This marked a milestone for GEN since it is the very first assembly through the virtual platform, yet it produced invaluable outputs.
Every month, we request a GEN member, or SC members or GEN-CU staff to provide a greeting letter that reveals how being part of GEN impacts their lives. This month, we request Sayarma Naw Thet Thet Htun from Karen Women Empowerment Group (KWEG), an active NGO/CSO member of GEN and a current SC member representing NGO/CSO category, to share her thoughts and experience with GEN.
Mingalarpar ... 
My name is Naw Thet Thet Htun. I am the Director of Karen Women Empowerment Group. I am also a Steering Committee Member to GEN.
When we work for women affair, it is unlikely to be same success that we work in collective approach than as an individual organization. We need a space of networking for sharing of each organization works, sharing our lesson learnt that how we have done and how we overcome the oppressions. In fact, this kind of network space is being created and supported by GEN. We actually want to work a lot in a variety of sectors, and we may face some challenges of too much workload and lack of technical expertise. No matter which role we are in GEN, as a member or part time/full time staff or being SC or being TRP, it is certain that we can learn from each other, from that by coordinating, we can work to be better and effective. Furthermore, when we bring the voices of women to National Level, the strong voices which members collected from the grassroots are very effective in advocacy because the related authorities are listening our voices carefully and responding without neglecting, these are the achievements of our collective efforts. No one can deny that the strong voices of women and strive for equality can be succeed with the collective voice. The achievement of GEN is meant to all the GEN members and the staff of coordination unit as a whole.  
I happened to read a quote “The goal is not to be perfect by the end. The goal is to be better today.” This quote is encouraging us that the work of GEN is to be better than yesterday to reach our goal. The quote also motivates us in this difficult time that we will not see to a far destination, nevertheless we shall have today that is better than yesterday, that we work better to have improved results and therefore we shall overcome this time with the best of our effort. I heartily wish everyone to be healthy and be safe from all kind of dangers.



Online Discussion

On 28th 2020, GEN organized an online discussion titled “Technology-Related Violence Against Women” via Zoom platform and live stream on GEN’s Facebooks. GEN invited experts from related fields including technology, law and gender as the speakers for the discussion. This online discussion reached a variety of audiences and gained good engagement. GEN`s Director, along with U Thein Than Oo (Advocate), Daw Htaik Htaik Aung (Executive Director, MIDO), joined as a panelist for Technology Related Violence Against Women live talk show organised by 16 Days Activism Working Group. In the panel discussion, GEN`s Director and other panelists discussed different types of TRVAW and the needs for legal protections and procedures in order to penalize the abusers. Panelists also provided doable recommendations for policy makers, government and community in more effective ways to prevent and address TRVAW. Thanks to all the speakers and moderator for your contribution. This activity is supported by LIFT and IDRC.

16 Days of Activism

In November, Press Conference of 16 Days of Activism was held via Zoom and Facebook live on 21st November 2020 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. During the event, working groups members explained the purpose of organizing the campaign, history of the 16 Days of Activism and the activities of this year. In addition to organizing the press conference, a variety of competitions such as cover song competition, movie review competition was held, and a lot of entries were received for each competition. General public from different age groups showed interest in all kinds of competitions through comments and messengers.

In collaboration with the Women Affair Committee of Dagon University Students' Union, GEN held an article writing competition for 16 Days of Activism. Prior training was conducted for the participation of all students and famous writer, Sayarma Jue, delivered the training. On November 11, GEN's Director delivered opening speech for article writing training jointly organized by GEN and women’s committee of Dagon University Student Union by zoom. Almost 250 participants have joined on the training.


In collaboration with Mizzima Media, GEN organized Forever White Ribbon Quiz Show on Mizzima TV Channel and the first episode was aired on 25th November and the next episodes will be aired on 2nd and 9th December.

For public awareness, 16 days of Activism message video in ethnic languages, Shadow Performance, Theme Song, Celebrity Messages are posted in the campaign facebook pages. Four IEC materials – 16 Days of Activism history pamphlet, reusable mask, key chain, and brooch – were distributed. These 16 Days of Activism activities are supported by LIFT, Trocaire and UNFPA.


For the 16 Days of Activism, GEN’s Taunggyi office team participated in the activities of the working group. The activities include

• Crossroad Vinyl hanging

• Online Media, Facebook campaign and FM Radio message

• Distribution Mask,16 days history and other GBV message Pamphlet to the community

• Online Panel Discussion

Champion for Gender Equality Award

Since 2019, GEN has given the Champion for Gender Equality Award to individuals or organizations which are striving for gender equality in Myanmar. Although this award is usually given at the International Women’s Day, it was postponed this year due to Covid-19. The award ceremony was held on 21st November via Zoom and Facebook. A total of 11 nominees were received for this year and after public voting and selection process of the juries, the Champion for Gender Equality Award 2020 goes to Dr. Phio Thiha, well-known writer and social influencer. This activity is supported by LIFT.

Member Assembly

GEN organized the annual member assembly via Zoom this year. The assembly was held twice, on 23rd and 24th November and on 26th and 27th November, so that the members can choose their preferred set of dates at their convenience. On the first day of the assembly, updates from each department, Media Engagement Strategy, Network Strengthening Report and ToR were presented and on the second day, Membership Fees, Active Member Award, NSPAW Mapping, Member Capacity Assessment, Measuring GEN’s Sustainability Index, Plan for Strategic Plan Review, New Strategic Plan Development were discussed. 72 member organizations out of 108 attended the assembly and provided the inputs and insights. Despite the virtual meeting, members fully attended the two days and actively participated in the discussions. Sing language translation and simultaneous English interpretation were provided during the assembly.

Policy Dialogue Workshops

GEN organized the policy dialogue workshops via Zoom in November and local authorities, members of parliament and CSOs from Kachin, Kayin and Mandalay attended the virtual workshops. During the workshops, the participants CSOs discussed the regional issues and how to link and work with the local Authorities and member of parliament to implement gender policy in the respective states. This activity is supported by EU.


UNSCR 1325 Sharing Session

October 31, 2020 marks the 20th Anniversary of the milestone UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace, and Security”. To celebrate this anniversary, Gender Equality Network conducted a “UNSCR 1325 Information Sharing Session” with the network members on 6th November 2020 via Zoom. Sayarma Nang Phyu Phyu Lin facilitated the sharing session and a total of 60 members attended. This activity is supported by IDRC.

Sustainability Index

GEN developed the Sustainability Index to measure the sustainability of the Gender Equality Network. The assessment will be fielded to the members to obtain their feedback on the operational space of GEN to determine the sustainability as a network.


Mizzima Live on 2020 General Elections

On November 8 to 10, GEN’s Director joined as one of the commentaries for 2020 elections invited by Mizzima media. She discussed how important the inclusion of women candidates in the country and how they could contribute for change.


“Leading in Crisis: Women Humanitarians and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in COVID-19”

On November 19, GEN’s Director joined as a panelist in the event “Leading in Crisis: Women Humanitarians and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in COVID-19” organised by ActionAid UK and Gender Peace and Security (GAPS) for UK Government.

Presentation at Myanmar Institute for Theology (MIT)

On November 17, GEN’s Director provided presentation and technical inputs on Gender Equality and Inclusion policy development process of Gender Studies Center, Myanmar Institute for Theology (MIT) by zoom.

Gender Mainstreaming in Sustainable Development

On 25 November 2020, GEN`s Director as Moderator, GEN`s Advisor and GEN`s Co-Chairs as Panelists facilitated the panel discussion on “Gender Mainstreaming in SDGs” organized by Myanmar Development Institute. After the panel, group discussion continued on selective SDGs indicators in order to understand how gender could integrate on the implementation of SDGs. Twenty-four officials attanded from the National Economic Coordination Committee Office, Central Bank of Myanmar, Department of Rural Development, Department of Planning (MOALI), Department of Trade, Pension Department, Project Appraisal and Progress Reporting Department, Planning Department (MoPFI), Budget Department, Internal Revenue Department, Treasury Department, Central Statistical Organization and Graduate School of Administration and Development (GSAD) and MDI staffs.

The State of Gender-Based Violence in Myanmar During COVID-19

On 26 November 2020, GEN’s Head of Policy Advocacy participated as a panelist in a panel discussion titled “The State of Gender-based Violence in Myanmar During Covid-19” organized by the Business Coalition for Gender Equality. The panel focused how the gender-based violence and domestic violence have increased during the pandemic and how to address these issues.


One Day One Voice National Level Webinar

On November 30, GEN's Director have joined as a panelist for One Day One Voice National Level Webinar invited by MWN (Mon Women’s Network).

WPS Forum by AGIPP

November 18, GEN’s Director and SC members facilitated and supported for WPS Forum, Rakhine organised by AGIPP with zoom.

Zoom meeting with Women Leaders from UPDJC

On 20 November 2020, GEN’s Director and SC members joined zoom meeting with Women Leaders from UPDJC organised by AGIPP.

Orientation session

On November 21, GEN's Director joined zoom orientation session for GEN’s new members in the morning and moderating online event on Champion for Gender Equality Award Ceremony in the afternoon.

16 Days of Activism by MNCW

On November 25, GEN’s Co-Chairs, Advisor, Director and Research team joined 16 days of Activism zoom event organised by MNCW in the morning.

Featured Resource

Champion for Gender Equality

Gender Equality Network and Mizzima Media have collaborated to produce and broadcast a program called "Champion for Gender Equality". This program will present the champions in Myanmar who are working towards gender equality. 

Episode 4:

Kings N Queens - https://fb.watch/1Taj7XlLhb/

Episode 5:

Karenni Women Organization -https://fb.watch/1TakoSFYhF/

Episode 6:

Mi Cherry Soe - https://fb.watch/2eLlvnGplr/


Shadow Dance

For the 16 Days of Activism 2020, GEN created a shadow dance video in collaboration with Junior Creative Shadow Dance Group to raise awareness about gender-based violence.

Link - https://fb.watch/2f4TPHKlUm/ 

16 Days of Activism Message in Ethnic Languages 

To be able to reach different groups of people, GEN has produced the 16 Days of Activism message in ethnic languages. In Novmeber, ethnic language videos in Myanmar, Kayan and Rakhine were posted in Forever White Ribbon Facebook page.


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=651258955567357

Youtube - https://youtu.be/9vwhoWLgHv4


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1198307890569538

Youtube - https://youtu.be/7L7mpYt0ayM


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=445599916848636

Youtube - https://youtu.be/lIAGohWxwyk