Women in Myanmar learn about their rights and strengths through Mother and Child Health Programmes. Copyright:WFP/Charlotte Cuny
Li Wei Lin, a mother of five children from Par Wai Village in Kokang, told WFP that according to the Kokang tradition, women always come second after men. They are not allowed to talk in public places, nor travel out of the village.
“Women don’t have the same rights as men” she explains, adding that until recently she also believed that she could not make good decisions for her family.
When WFP Mother and Child Health and Nutrition programme started in her village, WFP staff assisted women to form “Mother Groups”. In these groups she said, “Women are taught about nutrition and food, the importance of personal hygiene, how to cook nutritious food for our children and pregnant and lactating mothers.”
Today, she shares with other women and friends what she learnt during food distributions and at “Mother Group” meetings. “I am so proud to share my knowledge. I also help weighing and measuring children, and I understand malnutrition.”
“Now I believe that women can also learn and make a difference. Not only did we receive nutritious food from WFP, but we also learnt about our strengths and rights.”