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To mark the celebration of International Women's Day, the Lao National Commission for the Advancement of Women (LaoNCAW) and the Lao Women's Union (LWU) with the support of the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA, and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women UN Women, organized the seminar "Gender Equality and its progress in Lao PDR", a seminar to present the development of work for women advancement in Laos.

Taking place at the Prime Minister's Office, the seminar highlighted the implementation of gender mainstreaming within the work of key line ministries including the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and Ministry of Justice; in addition to the progress report by LaoNCAW on the implementation of its National Strategy for the Advancement of Women and an update on Lao Women Development Action plan by Lao Women's Union.  The Gender Development Group, a network of non-governmental organisations, took part in sharing challenges and achievements from the civil society front.

HE the Minister to the Government Office and Chairperson of the Public Administration and Civil Service Authority, Madame Bounpheng Mounphoxay, delivered her opening remarks to officiate the event, followed by a welcome note from H.E Madame Sisay Leudedmounsone, the President of Lao Women's Union.

Dr. Esther Muia, UNFPA Representative said "women make up half the population of Lao PDR, their issues and concerns cannot be ignored. It is our responsibility and obligation to ensure that the specific needs of women are integrated into the development agenda as this is critical to national development.  When women can make free and informed choices in all spheres of life, including marriage and number and spacing of their children, they can reach their full potential and further contribute to the development of their communities and nations."

The seminar saw the attendance of 170 representatives from the government ministries, UN agencies and civil society organisations.

The International Women's Day was honoured for the first time in 1911. To date, countries around the world continue to celebrate women achievement in the field of economy, social and politics on 8th of March. The day also serves as a great reminder that there are more works to be done in achieving gender equality.

Media Contact:
Diego De La Rosa. / +856-21-315547 ext.116