Empowering Grassroots Women in Burma

The message of women’s economic empowerment is gaining force all over the world, but the challenge of helping the most vulnerable women achieve true income and food security remains daunting. As part of its efforts to promote women-owned SME growth in the ASEAN region, the USAID-funded Economic Reform and ASEAN Integration Program (ERA), of the USAID ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment Project (US-ACTI), brought a group of leaders from the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a world-renowned movement for empowering grassroots women, from India to Burma in August 2015. This visit was the first of two planned exchange programs between SEWA and Burmese women leaders that will enable the two groups to share information about initiatives aimed at bolstering women’s livelihoods.

This report provides a summary of the trip to Rangoon, which consisted of workshops and meetings between SEWA and Burmese women-led businesses, organizations, and associations. The 5-day trip created linkages between the Burmese and Indian entrepreneurs and let them share their experiences in creating and operating businesses.

In addition to presenting the trip highlights, this report details suggested follow-on activities to maintain the momentum gained from the discussions in the workshop.

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