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Promoting gender equality through networks: Strengthening capacity and advocacy in Myanmar

The Knowledge for Democracy (K4D) Myanmar Initiative, launched by IDRC and Global Affairs Canada in 2017, nurtures meaningful dialogue and engagement during the country’s transition to a democratic government. Working with other development partners, the initiative targets diverse and complementary entry points to strengthen analytical thinking and research capacity. The initiative will accomplish this objective by developing the capacity of individuals, including researchers, civil society, and policymakers; engaging and collaborating through roundtables, conferences, and workshops; developing capacity for institutions and providing support for think tanks; and funding research projects on inclusive democratic governance and economic development.

Strengthening democracy in Myanmar cannot be achieved without addressing how gender inequalities impact the participation of vulnerable groups (including women and ethnic minorities) in the political, social, and economic arenas. Recognizing this, Myanmar’s Gender Equality Network (GEN) has built a reputation as an active leading advocate for gender equality with a longstanding history of providing gender-focused training to non-governmental organizations and government, such as the Department of Social Welfare. GEN currently serves on the Myanmar National Committee of Women’s Affairs as one of only two non-governmental entities invited to participate in this inter-ministerial committee.

Building on this work, GEN has increasingly promoted the need for gender mainstreaming across government ministries that traditionally have not considered gender inclusion as a priority in their policies and practices. Under this project, GEN aims to strengthen gender-analysis capacities by designing and conducting training of trainers for emerging leaders within the public service in two critical areas: integrating gender equality narratives in the school curriculum; and scaling up gender sensitivity training to public servants, including recently graduated public administration students entering the public sector.

To carry out this work, GEN will enhance its own technical and organizational capacities by hiring three staff members and training GEN members in key topics identified in a needs assessment, including the use of gender-sensitive participatory methodologies. Two GEN members will train at the Asian Institute of Technology for four months.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
30 months
IDRC Officer
Gillian Dowie
Total Funding
CA$ 269,592.00
Knowledge for Democracy Myanmar 2017-2021
Institution Country
Project Leader
Pansy Tun Thein
Gender Equality Network