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Men and women in Myanmar have, in principle, equal rights and women play a role in all spheres of society. However, gender discrimination is still widespread. There are very limited opportunities for women’s leadership at all levels. Gender-based violence, mostly against women, is widespread, particularly in conflict areas. In the aftermath of cyclone Nargis, Oxfam set up a programme in Dedaye Township, which aimed to restore primary production and income levels, establish social safety nets, and promote alternative skills-based livelihoods options. The programme took two main approaches: to identify and address vulnerability to risk and to foster the development of women’s livelihoods. This both directly benefits women, who are among the most vulnerable members of the community, and improves the capacity of the whole community to withstand natural hazards.

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