Director-General Dr San San Aye, Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Member of the ASEAN Women Peace and Registry
Q: Can you explain national measures taken by Myanmar in contribution to promoting gender equality, women empowerment and youth participation in ASEAN Community Building?
A: Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is cooperating with ASEAN Member States (AMS), International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs), Non-governmental Organizations in the nation and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 which aims to protect the rights, to get the equal opportunities and to promote the lives of children, women, elderly and disabled persons.
In cooperation with ASEAN, the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MSWRR) is undertaking and participating as a Focal Point in “ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development – AMMSWD”, “ASEAN Senior Official Meeting on Social Welfare and Development- SOMSWD”, “ASEAN Commission on Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children – ACWC” and “ASEAN Committee on Women – ACW” which are the sub-sectors of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Pillar.
Department of Social Welfare is also consequently operationalizing the National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women, NSPAW (2013-2022) in line with ASEAN Commitments, Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Guidance of MNCW for Gender-equality, women empowerment.
The Strategic Plan includes 12 Priority Areas which are related to Women and Livelihoods, Women, Education, Training, Women and Health, Violence Against Women, Women and Emergencies, Women and the Economy, Women and Decision-Making, Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women, Women and Human Rights, Women and the Media, Women and the Environment, and the Girl Child.
In 2016, the Department of Social Welfare developed NSPAW mapping analysis report in cooperation with the national and international organizations for women’s development. For Violence Against Women and Girls, it has been implementing the activities of strengthening National Mechanism, developing Prevention and Protection of Violence against Women Law (POVAW Law) and GBV-related laws, and strengthening One Stop Support Center-OSWSC and Helpline services and awareness activities.
For Gender Mainstreaming, it has been implementing the activities to do Gender analysis, conducting awareness raising and Gender mainstreaming in media and environment.
In accordance with the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), the Department of Social Welfare is conducting Gender, CEDAW, NSPAW, UNSCR-1325 and Gender-Based Violence Awareness Training in Ministries, 53 Districts, 50 Townships and 75 Basic Education High Schools.
Moreover, practitioners from Myanmar Women Affairs Federation (MWAF) are appointed as the National Coordinator for the projects “Enhancing Gender Responsive Treatment of Women Offenders and Women Prisoners in ASEAN” and “Study on Women’s Political Participation and Leadership in ASEAN” which are developed by ASEAN Secretariat to protect the rights of women and to promote the women’s leadership.
Continuously, the Department of Youth, the Ministry of Sports and Youth is undertaking as a Focal Point in “Senior Official Meeting on Youth (SOMY) which intends the youths to participate in building ASEAN Community. The youths and volunteers (youth) are participating in the meetings which are related to the ASEAN Youth and volunteers (youth). Besides that, the “Youth Policy” is introduced on 5.1.2018 for the purpose of all youths’ development and participation in all fields.
This includes 16 youth development areas which are Health, Education, Drugs, ports and Recreation, Job opportunities, Economics, Politics, Literature, Arts and Culture, Research, Science and Technology, Good Citizenship, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Peace and Security, Gender Equality, International Relations and Human Rights.
Q: Can you explain whether or how the works of ASEAN with the governmental bodies and meetings bring benefits to grass-root citizens?
A: Governmental organizations in ASEAN and the service providers of ASEAN Meetings like service personnel, the delegates from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) participate in ASEAN Meetings.
By doing so, they can get knowledge more about safe life, development, enhancing capacity, the protection of rights, social work education, and gender equality which can be affected children, women, the elderly and disabled persons. And then, they can support the best for the public in providing the services since their capacities improve more.
The one project of ASEAN, “The Protection of Women and Children, and the Promotion of the Rights of Women and Children” can be favourably done and the role of women can be improved. Besides, youths can get much profit to develop all aspects of them like their physical capacity, intelligence, etc., and ASEAN people receive invaluable benefits.
Linking up the Governments and the Organizations in ASEAN Region can easily eradicate the dangerous vice fields such as human trafficking, and trading drugs and psychotropic substances. Because of that it can extraordinarily care for the health of ASEAN people (especially young society) and also prevent human resources damage. Cross-bordered crimes can be solved by making discussions and identifying in government-to-government.