Address at Launch of May Doe Kabar, Toily Kurbanov, UNDP Country Director

Oct 15, 2015

Mingalar Par!

We are gathered here today to celebrate rural women of Myanmar and launch May Doe Kabar, the National Rural Women’s network.

What better day to launch this network than today – the International Day of Rural Women?

May Doe Kabar is the collective voice of over 22,000 women like you, from across 2000 villages from Ayeyarwaddy and Magway Regions and Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine and Shan States.

May Doe Kabar is mothers and daughters, wives and sisters, farmers and market sellers, business women and community leaders. You are the backbone of Myanmar’s society and unsung heroines of Myanmar’s economy.

May Doe Kabar is the fruit of two decades of partnership between UNDP and rural women in Myanmar. This first started in 1993 with our Human Development Initiative that supported over 5500 women-led rural Self Reliant Groups. Since then 2,000 of these groups formed 31 Township Groups and today you have become a nationwide network.

This network is rooted in the realities of rural Myanmar. 

Working together you can do much more than working alone: to promote self-reliant village development; to ensure that women’s voices are taken into account in local and national policy making; and to advocate gender equality and women participation in leadership and decision making.

May Doe Kabar will provide a voice to the needs and aspirations of rural women and in doing so help to increase resilience and strengthen solidarity across Myanmar.

Yesterday, you voted in the first leadership of May Doe Kabar. Warm congratulations to Daw Cho Aye from Kyaik Hto on being elected the Chair of the Board of Directors. At UNDP we look forward to working with you, Madam Chair, and with the Board to strengthen the network’s capacity to respond to the needs of rural women of Myanmar.

Today we mark not the end but the beginning of May Doe Kabar’s journey – the journey that will help to create the future that we want for the rural women of Myanmar.

I wish May Doe Kabar every success. Kye Zu Tim Bar De

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