Addressing violence against women: Moderate costs and high returns

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Vientiane, 30 June 2016

Lao PDR is committed to ending violence against women. The country has a new Action Plan (2014) and Law (2015) addressing the issue. The first-ever prevalence study of violence against women in Lao PDR was completed in 2015 and launched in 2016, and it showed that violence against women in Lao PDR is culturally highly tolerated.


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 Photo: UN Women Lao PDR

Understanding the costs of violence against women will assist the government to better respond to this reality, and achieve improved policy implementation. Costing violence against women is also an integral part of financing for Sustainable Development Goal number 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of ambitious global targets, set to advance the world toward a sustainable development path by 2030.

Answering this requirement, the National Commission for the Advancement of Women in Lao PDR launched a report at the end of June 2016 on “Estimating the resource requirements for a minimum package of essential service for women experiencing violence in Lao PDR”.

This costing study showed that addressing violence against women and girls is not costly - providing a Minimum Package of Essential Services, in fact, would account for only 0,25% of Gross Domestic Product. This a low figure compared to what violence that remains unaddressed might cost the economy: a recent UN Women study in Viet Nam showed that the impact of domestic violence accounted for as much as 3.17% of the country’s GDP.

The National Commission for the Advancement of Women with support from UN Women and an experienced technical team from the National University of Ireland, Galway, researched and authored the study.

Violence against women in Lao families is still high based on the National Commission for the Advancement of Women’s report revealed recently. End violence against women!

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