GWNET brings you the 17th instalment of the “Meet the Women in Clean Cooking” series which celebrates the work and achievements of the women who are part of the Clean Cooking Mentorship Program. This program is made up of 30 mentee-mentor tandems, with mentees from over 15 countries. Meet Clean Cooking mentee, Aye Aye Nyo, a Project Coordinator at GERES in Myanmar
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I have 8 years of experience in governmental organizations. I worked at Save the Children as the project officer and was the program officer at the United Nations Population Fund where my role focused on empowering women and supporting those suffering from gender-based violence.
I joined GERES as a project coordinator, where my main responsibilities are supporting women entrepreneurs to improve their businesses which offer sustainable energy solutions for the cooking sector in rural areas. I love conducting women empowerment activities in rural areas and sharing my knowledge with these women.
2) What were your goals when you started working in clean cooking? How have these evolved?
My first goal was to understand women’s roles in clean cooking and how to motivate women to use new cooking technology. Currently, women are cooking with fuelwood and in the future when they have access to the national grid they will need to change their cooking methods.
The second goal was to learn about clean cooking in different countries and how to apply lessons learned in my country.
Lastly, I wanted to better understand women entrepreneurs and how to empower them.
3) What are the opportunities for clean cooking in your country?
In Myanmar, we have LPG resources and the government has made an SDG commitment to provide 100% access to the national grid by 2030.
Additionally, some of the NGOs are involved in the cooking sector in the production of improved cookstoves.
Most of the responsibility for cooking falls on women. In the rural area, the older women do not want to change to the new cooking technology as they like their traditional ways of cooking and are also concerned about e-cooking, specifically the possibility of an electric shock as well as the meter bill cost.
Another challenge is competing brands from China that are cheaper than other quality brands, which means people prefer them more than the quality product.
Women are involved in the cooking sector as leaders and have created income from selling clean cooking products. They will lead and organize knowledge sharing with other women who are less knowledgeable about clean cooking.
I would like to establish an app for women in clean cooking that can support women in learning about the sector. They can share their finding and difficulties through the app.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the clean cooking sector?
It is important to have a peer to peer learning program for those who are involved in the cooking sector. Also, visit different countries to gain ideas on clean cooking which can be applied in your respective country.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.