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In Myanmar, deeply entrenched discrimination prevents women from getting jobs and training – particularly those in remote rural areas. Women have limited influence on decision making and restricted access to land, assets, affordable finance and business opportunities. This creates a massive barrier to their full and equal participation in their country’s economy.
This project will strengthen the economic empowerment of women previously relegated to domestic chores, backbreaking agricultural work or forced child-marriage by building demand and providing training in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Key successes in numbers:
In Myanmar, deeply entrenched discrimination can prevent women from getting paid work.
A gender analysis was undertaken through focus group discussions with young men and young women in the targeted communities, revealing issues such as safety and security issues for young women posing a challenge to their participation in training away from home, as well as childcare for some women.
Also included in the gender analysis was a 2016 situational analysis – Gender Equality and Women’s Rights in Myanmar – undertaken in partnership with UN agencies; Asian Development Bank, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement. This analysis was undertaken to support the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women 2013-2022 which was adopted by the (Myanmar) Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement to address these concerns and challenges.
Attitudes within the community:
Plan International Myanmar, Mandalay Hospitality Vocational Training Institute, Myanmar Hotelier Association Bagan Zone, Myanmar Restaurant Association Bagan Zone, Department of Social Plan International believes in strong partnerships and in-country capacity building to ensure sustainability of our projects.
This project will build the capacity of existing vocational training providers, to develop and adapt training curricula to deliver skill sets in demand by the labour market. The project will also establish mechanisms for coordination and collaboration between vocational training providers and businesses, to create mutually beneficial partnerships and establish the model of pathways to employment. Engaging both employers and training providers in developing and delivering the curriculum and on the job training will not only ensure that training is relevant, but also enable them to build and improve on training and outcomes each year
In addition to this other implementation partners include:
Plan International Myanmar, Mandalay Hospitality Vocational Training Institute, Myanmar Hotelier Association Bagan Zone, Myanmar Restaurant Association Bagan Zone, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Hotel and Tourism.
May Zin Htet, a 22 year old young woman from a village in Nyaung U Township. Prior to joining the YEE program, May Zin worked as a primary-school teacher in the Kokeng self-administered zone, but had to relocate to the city of Mandalay after fighting broke out between rebel tribes and government forces in 2015. She found work in a restaurant, but was disappointed by the lack of opportunities to advance her career.
May Zin moved back to her village in January 2018 when she heard about the Women’s Economic Empowerment program. After completing the training course, May Zin said, “I have more confidence that my life will improve in the future because I received skills through the program, including on-the-job training.” She also gained additional technical skills, including English and Chinese language, social and life skills, and work-related etiquette. The program gave May Zin not only skills she can use in the short-term, but abilities and confidence to fulfil her dreams and aspirations for a better future.
At the end of the training, May Zin passed her ASEAN hospitality exam, as did all of the other 39 trainees in the program. May Zin now has an offer for employment from the hotel where she did her on-the-job training, and sees a clear pathway to career advancement. She plans to work hard so that she can become a supervisor within the next two years.
Plan will link training providers, the tourism sector association with local government, facilitating strong relationships between them so they can take ownership of the program after Plan International’s involvement has come to an end.
Plan International will work with national government to support their ownership of the digital e-learning curriculum and Monitoring & Evaluation System. There is great potential for this to be rolled out nationally as the National Youth Policy is further developed and implemented, and thereby deliver sustained impact beyond the immediate geographic focus area.