Myanmar is a country in transition with a rapidly changing economy after emerging from decades of relative isolation. The country is slowly becoming an important actor in Southeast Asia but remains among the world’s poorest and least developed countries.
Myanmar is still primarily a rural country, relying heavily on agriculture as a source of national income. Women play a significant role in agricultural production and engage actively in markets. However, while gender equality exists in laws relating to marriage, inheritance and ownership, gender equality in practice is a different story and gender-specific barriers still exist, keeping women from fully participating in the economy. Women and girls remain primarily responsible for household chores and a wide wage gap exists between women and men. Women often lack mobility and they face challenges to accessing financing, market information, and higher growth markets. The ownership and control of land and property remains a challenge for women in rural areas.
MEDA, with funding from the Government of Canada, is launching a project in Myanmar aimed at increasing women’s participation in the country’s evolving economy and becoming active, respected and empowered economic actors and leaders.
The project runs for five years, from 2015 to 2020, working within agricultural value chains and markets where women are already active participants. It will support 25,000 women in Shan and Kayin states to become active, respected and empowered economic actors and leaders. MEDA will work with local partners to improve the standard of living and the business environment for another 125,000 indirect clients who will benefit from the improved household incomes of producers and enhanced goods and services provided by strengthened micro small and medium sized enterprises (MSME) in the agricultural sector.
Project Quick Facts
Goal: Support women in Shan and Kayin states to become active, respected and empowered economic actors and leaders
Reaching: 25,000 women producers and their families
Funding: Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada (GAC) www.international.gc.ca.
Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada