Vientiane, 7 December 2017
In commeroration of the International Day for Ending Violence against Women and Girls (25 November) and in recognition of the World AIDS Day (1 December), Lao National Commission for Advancement of Women and Mother-Child (NCAWMC) in collaboration with the Committee for Advancement of Women of Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) and UN Women and UNAIDS, organized an inspring event on 7 December at the Dong Khamxang Teacher Training Center. The theme for the event was “Leave no one behind: Advocacy on Ending Violence against Women and Girls on ways to Reducing HIV impact”.
Photo: UN Women in Lao PDR
The event was joined and chaired by Dr. Khamphay Sisavanh, Vice Minister, Chairman of the Steering Committee for Advancement of Women and Mother-Child of the Ministry of Educatio and Sports; and the Key Note Speech was delivered by Ms. Melissa Alvarado, Head of EVAW and UNITE Programme in UN Women, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
A panel discussion invited the particpants to learn about how leaders of strong organisations and the Lao PDR governemnt actively promote policies and activities aiming at preventing gender based violence against women and girls. The issue on how women who are HIV positive are socially stigmatised and vulnerable to violence of all sorts was also part of the panel discussion points.
The four high level panelists represented NCAWMC, UN Women, CARE Interanational and the Center for for HIV/AIDS at the Ministry of Health. More than 300 particpants attended the event inclusing representatives from international organizations, other development partners, teachers and students from Dongkhamxang Teacher Training Center, Dongkhamxang Institute of Economics and Finance and Donkhamxang and Agriculture Colledge participated in the discussion.
One major reason for organising the event was to activively disseminate and raise awareness for teachers and students about the cause of violence against women which is a violations of human rights based; and to find out the solution by participating and involving of everyone in the society on the basis of respect and honor each other.
The violence against women and girls is one of the most serious phenomena in the society and can happen to every women, at any age and can be caused by unequal empowerment between men and women and form discrimination against women in society. Efforts to prevent violence against women and girls must find ways to reach disadvantaged persons such as rural women, young girls with no access to school, ethnic minorities and HIV infected women. Thus, awareness rasing in the society is important and teachers ans students play a key role for this important task.
Photo: UN Women in Lao PDR
The highlevel panel discussion on "Leave No One behind: Advocay on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and ways to reducing the HIV impact” was both inspiring and allowed specialsists form NCAWMC, together with UN Women, CHAT and CARE to exchange with students, knowledge and information on ways to preventing violence against women and girls. Apart from the above mentioned topic, the discussion focused on the national action plan to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls from 2014-2020 Legal Policy; the Community-Based Violence Prevention and Response project; the measures to prevent gender violence; lessons learned by ASEAN countries in reducing the cause of violence against women and girls. In addition, the audience listened to the problems causing violence to women infected with HIV.
The discussion also invited teachers and students to create a campaign and disseminate the party-state policy, law, CEDAW convention (elimination all forms of violence against women) and International Action Plans that involve Gender Equality, elimination of all forms of discrimination in education and Other Areas.