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DPM Calls for Joint Efforts to End Violence against Women

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With a number of women continuing to suffer violence, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone has called for joint efforts from all walks of life to put an end to violence against women.

Delivering a message on Tuesday to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women that falls on November 25, the DPM described the violence against women as unacceptable’.

A survey on women’s health conducted in 2014 showed that one in three married women suffered at least one kind of violence. Seven percent experienced sexual violence from husbands or partners and 12 percent suffered physical violence.

A number of Lao girls suffered sexual violence. A survey on child violence conducted previously found that 94 of 1,000 births were delivered by girls aged between 10-19 years, which is the highest numbers of young girls delivering births compared to countries in the region. Five percent of these girls did not want to have sex before 18 years, according to Dr Sonexay.

Globally, one in every three women or about 35 percent of women and girls experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by their husbands or partners. More than 700 million women have been forced to marry when they were young, the DPM said, citing statistics.

Worse, as many as seven in 10 women are suffering sexual violence in some countries.

Dr Sonexay stated that violence against women has been caused by discrimination against women, uncivilised and outdated traditions, superstition, poor education and gender views among others.

The occurring violence has caused physical and spiritual impacts on women, depriving them from participating in the development process, he said.

The violence against women has brought negative impacts on socio-economic development. It is an enormous obstacle for gender equality.

In a move to address the issue, the UN General Assembly adopted in 1979 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to which 189 countries have been state parties to the convention that came into force in 1981. A number of action plans have been undertaken to protect the rights and interests of women and girls.

I n Laos, a policy has been implemented to promote and develop women and girls in an attempt to ensure they enjoy equal rights politically, economically, socially and culturally as men and boys do and ensure that their interests are protected, Dr Sonexay said.

In an effort to put an end to the remaining violence against women and girls in the country, Dr Sonexay called for all sectors in society to intensify the campaign and awareness-raising to change outdated traditions, discriminatory attitudes and view s toward women.

He pressed the need to provide necessary assistance to victims of violence, ensure women have access to education and training, employment and services, while carrying out activities and enforcing laws to eliminate any violence against women and children.

Increasing regional and international cooperation in the fight to eliminate all forms of domestic violence will also contribute to addressing the issue.

Source: Vientiane Times