Infotainment app about labour rights - Competition „Empowerment of women through digital solutions“ 

90% of Myanmar’s garment workers are women, most of them between 16 and 27 years old. While working in a garment factory can be economically empowering, the women are at risk of being exploited and of accumulating debt. These risks are minimized if they are aware of their rights and how to claim them at their workplace. Most of the young women own a smartphone. It’s the way to stay in touch with their families and friends, and they also use it for entertainment after a long working day.

                         Women in Myanmar  Garment workers in Myanmar

The GIZ program “Social and Labour Standards in the Textile and Garment Sector in Asia” hence was looking for a digital solution to empower female garment workers that is informative and entertaining at the same time. The program, in close cooperation with sequa gGmbH, came up with the idea of a smartphone infotainment app about labour rights. Through this app the women can playfully acquire knowledge about their rights and how to claim them in the factories. Moreover, the app will be used to create a peer learning network.

This measure is one of the winning contributions of the GIZ-competition "Empowerment of women through digital solutions".

Progress reports on the implementation will be published here in due course.

Progress Report 2017

To harness the energy of the digital potential in Myanmar, sequa gGmbH jointly with the   GIZ regional project Social and Labour Standards in the Textile and Garmet Sector in Asia (SLSG), pioneered the development of two educational smartphone apps: the newest is an interactive game called “Sat Yone Superstar” (Factory Superstar) which won the support from the GIZ ‘Competition to empower women through digital solutions’.

The new app, which is developed in partnership with the EU-funded SMART Myanmar project, also led by sequa, is designed to teach garment factory workers about safety in the workplace and Myanmar’s labor laws and workers’ rights via action-oriented game play and quizzes. SMART Myanmar’s technical team developed the game contents based on context-rich work experiences with more than 200 factory managers and workers from more than 40 garment factories. Practical and common safety hazards are included in the game including fire and boiler safety, chemical management, personal protective equipment use and various other relevant topics. Characters must master these topics to advance levels and earn rewards. Quizzes on labor laws with more real-life examples are dispersed throughout the game, such as about overtime laws, freedom of association and employee contract requirements. As such, it is meant to provide the foundation for women to claim their rights at their workplace.

Another app on labor laws called Shwe Job (“Golden Job”), was translated into English for dissemination to other Asian countries and will be available on Google play store by mid-August 2017. The app also informs workers about their legal rights and about occupational health and safety issues. Shwe Job is more reference and story-oriented whereas Sat Yone Superstar takes a more interactive gaming approach. The apps complement each other and cater to somewhat different audiences and preferences.

The digital approaches are flanked by several analog measures such as Sunday Cafés where women can come together on their days off and services for conflict mediation and legal counseling. Sequa gGmbH and SLSG promote regional knowledge exchange on these measures and the apps, so that women-focused NGOs from Cambodia and Bangladesh as well can benefit from these innovative, digital solutions.

Progress report October 2017

The local IT Firm Nex has been engaged in developing contents for the Sat Yone Superstar game. The design of the game characters, virtual rooms and objects has been developed and the actual development of the app is almost complete (this includes rooms, menu, movement of the characters and their integration into the game). The beta-version is expected in December 2017. The release of the app in the google play store is scheduled for January 2018.

(Copyright: GIZ Myanmar/sequa)

The upscaling efforts of sequa and GIZ on the usage of Shwe Job were successful: The Myanmar version of Shwe Job has been used by almost 5.000 Myanmar workers between May and October 2017. A social media campaign on Shwe Job, which is supported by the C&A foundation, reached out to almost 50.000 Myanmar workers. In August 2017 the app was presented to more than 200 factory managers. To reach viral effect, a social media campaign was initiated to promote Shwe Job on Facebook. As of today (31 October 2017), the page has more than 41,000 likes.

sequa gGmbH, SMART Myanmar and SLSG jointly organized a half-day seminar in August 2017 on the most relevant labour laws for factories in Myanmar. The seminar obviously met the demands of the factory management: Aiming at hosting 70 managers, the event attracted over 200 participants that attended to hear lawyers from Luther Law firm answering questions on existing labour laws in Myanmar and recent updates.

For further information about any of the projects mentioned here, please contact us at gender@giz.de.