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In the Nyaung-U township of the Mandalay region, an estimated 32% of the population are living in poverty with a lack of access to basic services, education and minimal job opportunities. The situation is even worse for young women.
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.
Women do the bulk of unpaid work, mainly in crop and livestock farming. Young women don’t get the same opportunities as men due to culturally enforced gender roles. On the other hand, men feel pressured to maintain traditional stereotypes as breadwinners and there is no platform to discuss the pressures of culture or to talk about sharing domestic and paid work.
This three year project will enable young women and men to engage in decent work within the growing hospitality sector. They will be equipped to meet their potential and shape their futures through the provision of soft and hard skills training, on-the-job training, job placement and mentoring.
Plan’s vision is that young people, especially women and their communities, will contribute to, and meaningfully benefit from, the thriving local economy in Bagan. Critical to our success will be that young people enjoy equitable access to training and decent work opportunities, free from gender-based discrimination whether they are self-employed or in a job placement.
By 2020, 2000 vulnerable youth, especially young women, within 52 Nyaung-U communities will have the skills and experience required to secure decent work close to home, and contribute substantially to the socio-economic development of their communities.
Project Activities in year one:
The projects approach is to work with community members and leaders to help local girls attain and practice their equal rights. This includes addressing social norms, building relationships with community leaders and linking women to services that lead to work. The first step in this is to develop communication materials to start conversations with parents and leaders.
We will also engage with local private sector partners to develop and train demand-driven skills for youth. This includes co-developing curriculum and on-the-job training. We aim to engage 45 local hotels and restaurants in the next three years.
Additionally, the project will help local vocational training institutions to deliver training for young people in the skills the market asks for. We will work with them to develop their curriculums and capacity then explore adding entrepreneurship training. We will also work with the Myanmar government to help implement online learning across the country.
Plan International is a global independent development and humanitarian organisation. As one of the oldest, largest and most experienced organisations in our field we know that there is nowhere in the world where girls are treated as equals. We work alongside children, young people, supporters and partners to tackle root causes of the injustices facing girls and the most marginalised children.