Daw Moe Moe Aye, who started working as Ward Clerk (1) in Coco Islands Township General Administration Department in 1993, might have hardly imagined that she would become the first female township administrator in Myanmar after 25 years later.
At the age of 47 on 29/10/2018, Daw Moe Moe Aye was appointed as Township Administrator of Coco Islands Township. She started working in GAD in 1993 and during the period between 2003 and 2013, she worked in the township GAD offices in Botataung, Kyauktada, Seikgyi Kanaungto and also in Yangon Region GAD Office as a deputy staff officer. She was promoted to staff officer in 2013. She was assigned as Deputy Township Administrator of Coco Islands Township from 2014 to 2018. After that, she was promoted to assistant director in April, 2018 and transferred to Pathein District GAD Office. In October, 2018, she was appointed as Township Administrator of Coco Islands Township and recorded as the first ever female township administrator in Myanmar.
Coco Islands Township is located in the Southern District of Yangon Region and comprised of two wards and has a population of 1,119. The main economic activities in the township are fishery and woodcarving. Coco Islands is her home town and she lives together with her parents. Being promoted from Ward Clerk up to Township Administrator and working in different places in the Region in 25 year of her term of service, Daw Moe Moe Aye described the nature of work of a township administrator as follows:
“The role of Township Administrator is very important. A township administrator has to take the role of the leader of the township and the main responsibility is coordination of the whole township. Additionally, Township Administrator has to chair Township Management Committee, Township Education Committee, Township Health Committee, Township Planning and Implementation Committee, etc. and work together with members of parliament, town elders, government departments, and ward administrators for local development, guided by orders, directives and procedures of the General Administration Department.”
Daw Moe Moe Aye said there were no big challenges for her to work as a female township administrator. She always seeks to understand the views and opinions of people and consult with them, so she can enhance closer cooperation and in turn promote local development. As she is a female civil servant, she encourages representation of women in the committees formed in the township as much as she can.
She also expressed her appreciation to her colleagues, male township administrators, who have been supporting her and also gave a hearty welcome her as a female township administrator. Her husband U Maung Maung is also working in GAD as a staff officer and he is proud of his wife being promoted as a township administrator. He said he would always be ready to support her as much as he can.
Daw Moe Moe Aye joined Training of Trainers for Capacity Development of Ward and Village Tract Administrator sponsored by UNDP in 2016 and also participated in Capacity Development Program of Female Ward and Village Tract Administrator organized by UNDP on December 4-9 2018, both as a resource person and as a participant.
She voiced her opinion about the program, “the female ward and village tract administrators are found to be capable. They only need to learn how to coordinate effectively. The knowledge transferred in the program is very relevant to put into practice in their work. It will be more useful if the concepts and principles to be applied in coordination can be shared in the future capacity development programs.”
She is very happy and proud to be assigned as a female township administrator. She said it is highly appreciated that the leadership in the department trust in her and wisely assign her as a female township administrator in her hometown, so she can prove that a woman can also work as a township administrator. She promises that she will serve the communities to the best of her ability and wishes that there will be many more female township administrators in the future.
Township Democratic Local Governance (TDLG)
The project is actively supporting democratic local governance by giving local people a voice to influence annual township planning and budgeting through elected representatives, being Hluttaw members, ward and village tract administrators and representatives from civil society organizations. The project contributes to the development of a democratic local governance policy framework for the Government of Myanmar to advance its decentralization agenda.