With support from the Embassy of Sweden and UK Aid, our Safe Cities Campaign was launched on 11 October in Yangon. Our partners in the campaign counts Equality Myanmar, Gender Equality Network, Colour Rainbow, Colourful Girls, Women League of Burma, Myanmar Women Self Defence Centre, Legal Clinic Myanmar, Labour Rights Defenders and Promoters, Kings and Queens, Integrated Community Development Foundation, Myanmar Independence Living Initiative, and Mizzima. The campaign launch was attended by Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, government officials, CEO of ActionAid International Mr. Adriano Campolina, British Ambassador to Myanmar Mr. Andrew Patrick, Head of Embassy of Sweden section office Mr. Johan Hallenborg, representatives from CSOs, paralegals from seven townships of Yangon, human rights activists and media representatives.
During the opening speech, the Yangon Region Chief Minister expressed his commitment to a safer city for women through budget allocation, systematic management of transportation and housing, creating job opportunities for women, and most importantly, by investing in education and human capital.
ActionAid International’s CEO said that: “Change of policy, culture, and most importantly, ourselves, is crucial and this campaign is an important opportunity to communicate with the public and convey our message to make change happen”.
A panel discussion on women's safety issues among U Aung Myo Min (Executive Director of Equality Myanmar), Daw Khin Ma Ma Myo (Executive Director of Myanmar Institute of Peace and Security Studies), Daw Hla Hla Yee (Director of Legal Clinic Myanmar), Daw Nant Thazin Min (Director of Colourful Girls), U Thein Han Thu (Joint General Secretary of Association of Myanmar Disable Women Affairs) and U Myo Aung Htay (General Secretary of General Administration Department) took place during the afternoon session. They addressed the nuances of different gender identities and the problems they faced, such as sexual harassment, stigma, discrimination due to social and cultural norms, and insufficient legal support mechanisms.
Furthermore, Daw Lwin Lwin Hlaing from ActionAid presented about the mapping of women’s safety in Yangon, and Myanmar Women Self-Defence Group organised a flash mob as part of the event.
The launch ceremony was closed by paralegal Daw Ohmar Myint, followed by the performance of Kings N Queens Dance Group and music composed by artist Saw Phoe Khwar.
Written by Hsu Mon Aung, Communications Officer - ActionAid Myanmar.