Women’s group marks anniversary with commitment to improve rural lives


YANGON — Around 250 women from remote areas of the country gathered in the commercial capital Sunday to mark the second anniversary of May Doe Kabar, a group working to empower rural women in Myanmar.

Coinciding with International Rural Women’s Day, the day’s speakers dwelled on the myriad issues facing women outside Myanmar’s urban centres, including a lack of opportunities and endemic gender-based violence.

“I myself as a rural woman see gender-based violence in the community and I can’t bear the situation,” said Daw Cho Aye, May Doe Kabar’s chairwoman. “Even some of the women themselves who face it do not want to talk about it … women in rural areas believe gender-based violence is a cultural norm in their community.”

May Doe Kabar recently completed a survey of 2,800 women in rural areas who discussed their experiences as survivors of gender-based violence. The results will be sent to the Union government.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

Around 250 rural women geared up to their second convention of May Doe Kabar in Yangon on Sunday which was also marked as the international rural women’s day.

Cho Aye said it was crucial for rural women to be given knowledge about Myanmar’s legal system and access to family and healthcare services to reduce the scourge of violence against women.

Founded in 2015 with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, May Doe Kabar draws on a network of 20,000 rural women from 31 townships in eight states and regions across Myanmar.

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar