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

The educational smartphone app “Sat Yone Superstar” was one of the winning contributions of the GIZ-competition "Empowerment of women through digital solutions". In cooperation with SMART Myanmar, sequa gGmgH, the programme “Social and Labour Standards in the Textile and Garment Sector in Asia” (SLSG) developed the mobile app “Sat Yone Superstar”. The app is systematically utilised to empower female garment workers , accompanied by additional services such as legal counselling.

In Myanmar 90 % of the 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 minimised by increasing the women’s awareness on their rights and how to claim them at their workplace. As most of the young women own a smartphone, a digital solution was sought. The developed mobile application allow for the playful acquisition of knowledge regarding labour rights, protection at the workplace and safety regulations via games and quizzes. The app will also be used to create a peer-learning network.

In addition, an English version of the already existing app “Shwe Job” was created to educate factory managers. In total, 311 managers, 60% of which female, from 187 different factories in Myanmar were informed on labour rights and environmental regulations. The project team also organized three seminars on most relevant labour laws for garment factory managers. Ten producers have now introduced the app in their factories. So far, more than 10,000 workers have been reached this way, about 85% of them women. In the factories the app is used for training purposes, as it has been shown that conflicts can be resolved more easily if both the management and the workers know more about their rights and duties. The app is seen as an easy way to provide this information.

                         Women in Myanmar  Garment workers in Myanmar

“Shwe Job” was also promoted through online marketing via Facebook. During the period of measurement, 75,616 users liked the Facebook page (75% female). This demonstrates that a large number of garment workers are seeking information on their rights.

The digital approaches to inform garment workers are flanked by several analogue measures such as Sunday Cafés. On Sundays, women can come together on their days off and receive related services including conflict mediation and legal counselling. Per year roughly 4,000 women take advantage of these Sunday services. In addition, Sequa gGmbH and SLSG promote a regional knowledge exchange on these measures and the apps, so that women-focused NGOs from Cambodia and Bangladesh can benefit from these innovative, digital solutions.

With an estimated increase to 600 garment factories in Myanmar employing over 600,000 workers, the apps in combination with other activities have the potential of reaching a large share of these workers. The long-term goal thus remains to inform and empower the garment workers to claim their working rights and make active use of the network provided.

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