Press Release

Adolescent girls’ needs in all national development plans

24 November 2020

Vientiane Capital, 24/11/2020. The National Commission for the Advancement of Women and Mother-Children and UNFPA organized a high-level consultation workshop with Provincial Vice Governors to discuss the integration of the Noi 2030 framework and ICPD indicators into provincial action plan as well as the government sector official action plans of each department for advancing gender equality and eliminating violence against adolescent girls for 2021-2025.  The consultation with high level Provincial Vice Governors was an opportunity to discuss the way forward to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 tracked by specific indicators that show the growth and highlight the bottlenecks. This work focuses on the role of the population, especially youth, to decrease vulnerabilities and strengthen successful practices.  

Adolescent girls constitute a large number of the population, but are the main victims of various inequalities. Girls are affected by harmful practices such as dropping out of school, early marriage, early childbearing, informal work, domestic violence and cultural and social beliefs that expose their life, wellbeing and dignity to risks, reinforced with COVID-19. It is therefore paramount that their needs are taken into consideration as Lao PDR is building its economic and social recovery from COVID-19. 

UNFPA has presented the Noi framework and key recommendations to implement at the national, provincial and district levels. Noi framework is based on engaging gender-sensitive activities to help protect girls’ rights under the ICPD agenda that promotes sexual and reproductive health as human rights focusing on life, health, freedom from violence, capacity to make own choices for marriage, pregnancies and body as well as equitable access to information and empowerment. 

UNFPA emphasized the importance of strengthening the implementation of existing policies and laws that protect women and girls to ensure their access to education;  mainstream gender equality through quality data; make family planning commodities available and reachable; declare women’s shelters part of the essential services for victims of violence;  invest in communication and advocate to engage people from all spheres of society.

“There are 5 vulnerable groups in Laos: Children, Women, Elderly, Disabled, Youth/adolescents. Among the Lao population, there are 700,000 adolescent girls and 200,000 of them (20%) live remotely and without access to essential information and services. Therefore, we are gathering today to think how to create a functioning ecosystem for them, the Noi Ecosystem. If we succeed, adolescent girls will be healthy, fulfil their rights and dreams and play a big role in the development of our nation.” Said by Mr. Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Minister to the Prime Minister’s office.

“There is an urgency to invest in adolescents today. They will be soon part of the largest working age group in Lao PDR. The Noi ecosystem and ICPD25 commitments present a comprehensive set of solutions to support women and youth empowerment. Implementing these actions at provincial district and village level can accelerate progress to the SDGs. I congratulate the VGovs for planning to address these issues in their plans.” Said by Ms. Mariam A. Khan, UNFPA Representative, Lao PDR.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Sisouvanh Vorabouth

Programme Gender Analyst

 

Email: vorabouth@unfpa.org

 

Miss Phetmany Viyadeth,
National Communication Consultant UNFPA Lao PDR

Email: viyadeth@unfpa.org

 

**********

UNFPA, the UN's sexual and reproductive health agency, works in over 150 countries including Lao PDR, to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices towards women and girls.