What we do in Myanmar
ActionAid works to tackle violence against women in Myanmar, including by training community paralegals in basic legal skills, and providing free legal aid to women who have survived violence, so that perpetrators can be held to account.
To change attitudes, we train male community leaders in cultivating zero tolerance policies toward violence among their male networks.
We also train government staff, including the police force, on the implementation of laws and policies designed to prevent violence against women.
Supporting women’s economic empowerment
ActionAid helps women in Myanmar to set up their own small businesses, and develop the skills and capacity they need to escape poverty.
We support farmers to set up self-help business groups, which provide access to seedbanks and loans on a revolving basis so they don’t have to rely on moneylenders with high interest rates.
And we support fishers and farmers with the skills and tools they need to become resilient to earthquakes and disasters as the climate changes.
Helping communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic
ActionAid’s emergency coronavirus response in Myanmar has supported more than 360,000 people.
Our response has included distributing facemasks and food packages to people living in poverty, as well as cash transfers and grants to more than 4,000 people.
We have also worked to ensure that ethnic minority populations were not forgotten in public health awareness-raising campaigns, by disseminating Covid-19 messaging in local Po Karen and S’Gaw Karen languages. And due to the increased pressure the pandemic puts on people in poverty, particularly women and girls, we have been advocating for the Myanmar government to protect human rights.
Training ActionAid Fellows to improve village life
At just 19, Khin Soe is one of the youngest ActionAid Fellows in her region of Pakokku, Myanmar.
As a fellow, she took training from ActionAid on subjects like sustainability, gender equality and human rights, and learned skills including public speaking and problem solving.
Khin Soe said: "Once we started learning about development, we began to understand the real reasons why our villages had problems.
"For instance, neighbours had lost crops when the pond ran dry – it was too small and shallow and we had to share it between four villages. And we had no health clinic.
The course opened my eyes - before I just accepted these problems. I’d never tried to analyse the causes and what we could do about them."
Empowering young women in self-help groups
In a remote village in Myanmar, ActionAid is supporting young women to become economically independent and to know their rights.
With initial funding from ActionAid, the group has begun a group farming initiative, and pooled resources to develop a clothes business in their small community.
They are also saving the collective profits to give small loans to group members who need it, and support members of the community who are elderly or ill. 28-year-old Khin Myaing said:
I am very happy to be a part of this women self-help group. We are very active to do the community development work, even though we are young."
"I am very happy to do the community development as much as I can."
Supporting food security through business groups
ActionAid supports farmers like Tin Tin Hlaing, 27, from Ma Gyi Cho village, to set up business groups.
These provide access to seedbanks, loans, training and markets so they don’t have to rely on moneylenders who charge high interest rates.
Tin Tin Hlaing is an active member of her village's business group, which meets on a weekly basis.
She can now grow enough to feed her family and also generate enough surplus to make an income.
Page updated 6 March 2023