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Lao Women Make Strides in Gender Equality

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Vangvieng district: More than 40 officials from the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism attended a two-day workshop here from September 5-6 on gender equality in 2016-2020.

Organised by members of the ministry’s Commission for Women’s Advancement, Mothers and Child, the workshop in Vientiane province was attended by ministry officials from Oudomxay, Vientiane, Xayaboury and XiengKhuang provinces.

The session aimed to bolster participants’ knowledge, understanding and skills, as well as develop an action plan for gender equality in 2016-2020. Participants also learned about gender roles in management and administration and gender equality in ASEAN and other regions.

Speaking at the closing ceremony yesterday, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Mr. Savankhone Razmountry said women in many countries, especially those who are poverty stricken, are at risk of being lured by human traffickers.

In human trafficking or trading, we should understand how traders take advantage of women and force them into the industry, he said.

To help promote gender equality issues, we should use the media as a tool to raise awareness of the risks to our women and children, he added.

Mr. Savankhone said women in some rural areas might work in the sex industry in order to provide for their families. While this kind of work was not in keeping with Lao traditions, many women fell prey to human traffickers.

Today, women have more opportunities to get good jobs and high positions in government, such as in the National Assembly and the Prime Minister’s Office. The number of women in government positions is increasing, compared to the previous five years, he said.

I hope workshop participants will pay attention and learn as much as they can from the speakers in order to help their sectors, he noted.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and Assistant Chairperson of the National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Ms Chandy Pankeo, told Vientiane Times The promotion of women, gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women has become stronger, giving women a bigger voice in decision making compared to the past.

Society has come to accept that women have equal knowledge and abilities.

Office Head of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Vansy Kuamua, said the workshop was in line with the direction indicated by the 10th Party Congress and the government’s 8th National Socio-economic Development Plan, especially the vision for gender equality by 2030, and the National Action Plan for Gender Equality for 2016-2020.

Source: Vientiane Times