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On the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC), the Lao Women's Union and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with Plan International and partners, celebrated all adolescents in Lao PDR with Noi’s 16th birthday in Vientiane Capital.

Representatives from Government, development partners, international organisations, civil society organisations, private sector and young people gathered in Vientiane Capital to celebrate the updates and achievements related to the Noi Framework and Ecosystem for empowering adolescent girls. This celebration also reaffirmed their commitment to being allies and champions for promoting gender equality and empowering adolescent girls.

Speaking at the event, Madame Inlavanh Keobounphanh, President of the Lao Women's Union, extended her appreciation to all sectors for their investment in giving adolescent girls a chance to be a force for positive change. "today's celebration is very important as it marks the 3rd year of the Noi 2030 Framework implementation. This framework aims to help Lao girls that are facing challenges in accessing education, reproductive health, sexuality, employment and gender equality, including the opportunity to participate and make decisions in life. This event shows the commitment of the Lao Government, particularly the Lao Women's Union, UNFPA and partners in Sustainable Development Goals, especially the SDG2, SDG3, SDG4, SDG5 and SDG8 that are linked to the Noi framework."

Investing in girls is investing in our shared future. The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child is "Our time is Now – our rights, our future", which highlights the importance of working together to ensure that girls enjoy and exercise their rights and can play a full and equal part in their communities and societies.

Ms Mariam A. Khan, UNFPA Country Representative for Lao PDR, said, "More than 600 million adolescent girls globally and over 700,000 in Lao PDR have hopes and dreams to realize. Immediate investments in girls’ rights can remove challenges that block fulfillment of girls’ potential and thereby communities and society’s progress.”

COVID-19 has worsened existing burdens on adolescent girls and increased the challenges to their education, their physical and mental well-being and the protection needed for a life without violence. “Adolescent girls have shown that given the skills and the opportunities, they can be the change makers driving progress in their communities, building back better for themselves, for women, boys and men. At this time in Lao’s demographic transition, for Laos’ economic recovery, urgent investments are required for strengthening agency and leadership of adolescents,” Ms Khan added.

"According to Plan International’s State of the World’s Girls Report 2022, Ms. Carol Mortensen, the Country Director of Plan International Laos, said that “in Laos, as globally, girls are not a homogenous group. Their opinions and experiences are as diverse as they are. They vary as individuals according to location, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity and sexual orientation, and a host of other intersecting factors. 

The overarching aim of this research is to explore and understand girls’ and young women’s attitudes towards, and experiences of, political and civic participation and institutions, across these many different backgrounds, looking both at where they differ and at what they have in common.”

Young people celebrated the occasion in the afternoon with panel discussions, informative talks and cultural performances highlighting the issues, aspirations and creativity of the young generation. 

Ms Sousananh, a 17-year-old schoolgirl from Bokeo Province – the head of the debate champion team – shared that “The International Day Girl Child event is meaningful to adolescent girls. This year was extraordinary for my friends and me because we could express our thoughts and ideas about our rights and bodies through the debating competition in Houayxay District Bokeo Province. It was a wonderful moment when people listened to our voices.”


About the International Day of the Girl Child

The United Nations General Assembly declared 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child in Resolution 66/170, adopted on 19 December 2011. Since then, 11 October has been celebrated every year as the International Day of the Girl Child to recognise the rights of girls and the unique challenges faced by girls around the world.

In 2016, Lao PDR launched the Noi approach and created Noi, representing all adolescent girls (over 700,000) in the country. She was created as an entry point for dialogue and to draw attention to the unique needs of adolescent girls as well as boys. Since then, the Noi's anniversary has been celebrated every year on 11 October to celebrate the progress related to adolescent programming and partnership building and to reinforce our commitment to promoting the empowerment of adolescent girls and boys with a vision of 'leaving no one behind.


UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, that works in over 150 countries including Lao PDR, to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence.

About Plan International

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children's rights and equality for girls.

We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And its girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.

We support children's rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years and are now active in more than 75 countries.

The International Day of the Girl Child 2022 was celebrated with support and contribution from UNFPA Laos, Plan International Laos, Population Services International Laos - PSI Laos, Save the Children in Laos, ChildFund Laos, CARE International in Lao PDR, World Vision Laos, Gender Development Association (GDA), UNICEF Laos and other partners.