Press Release

International Day of the Girl Child marks the celebration of girls’ empowerment

11 October 2018

11 October, 2018 Vientiane Capital – The labour market is changing tremendously and is being transformed by innovation and automisation. This requires more educated, skilled and qualified workers and todays’ girls need to be better prepared in order to pursue education and gain appropriate skills for the existing labour market.

This year Lao PDR celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child and Noi’s 2nd anniversary under the adapted theme “With Noi: A Skilled GirlForce”. To promote girls’ empowerment and draw attention and investments that can create more opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability. Ministry of Education and Sports(MoES) with support from multi-stakeholders including, UN agencies, EU, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and International NGOs organizes a high level forum in the morning and activities for young people in the afternoon of 11 October, 2018 at Lao Itecc Mall. 

In 2016, Noi was introduced to put adolescent girls and their specific needs at the forefront of the development agenda in Laos and as a reminder not to leave adolescent girls behind the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2017, Noi was reviewed as an advocacy concept and a partnership opportunity with the aim to co-brand her to represent adolescent girls’ programming of all interested UN agencies, CSOs and private partners. And in 2018, the Noi 2030 Framework was developed and included in the Voluntary National Review (VNR) report that the Government of Lao PDR presented in the high level political forum on SDGs in July 2018 in New York.

Each year, a different topic is highlighted to mark the special attention that girls require, alongside with the celebration of Noi’s anniversary. Different government counterparts take the leading role of the event year by year. In 2016 the event was led by Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) under the theme “Investing in Adolescent Girls for Sustainable Development of Lao PDR”, and in 2017 Lao Women Union (LWU) organized the celebration under the theme “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030”.

 

Mentors of Nang Noi - Girls' Group in Sepon District, Savannakhet Province
Mentors of Nang Noi - Girls' Group in Sepon District, Savannakhet Province
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In the morning of 11 October, experts shared the progress made towards achieving the aspirational targets related to adolescents in the Sustainable Development Goals and how to bring down the adolescent specific indicators to zero by 2030. Discussions were also held on the key challenges and bringing synergies in the efforts made by all relevant partners. The day showcased the achievements in multiple sectors and the efforts that took place throughout the year.

The afternoon event celebrated and promoted the contributions that young people make. It was a lively event full of excitement and energy and included dance performances, live music and inspirational talks by women role models. Various organizations also presented their materials related to girls and organized fun activities for young people.

Lao traditional performance from young girls
Lao traditional performance from young girls
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“In the industries, men are the majority of employment and interestingly, 61 percent of women in the workforce actually worked as unpaid family workers. To change this gender norm, adolescent girls need to be empowered and be able to make up their career choice. Said by Madame Sengdeuan Lachanthaboune, Minister of Education and Sports.

At the end of the event, Minister of Education and Sports hand over officially the symbolic key of International Day of the Girl Child in Lao PDR (Noi) to the Vice-Minister of Health to lead the celebration next year.

(Right) H.E Madame Sengdeuan Lachanthaboune, Minister of Education and Sports, (Middle) UNFPA Representative a.i. Mr. Victor Valdivieso, (Left) Vice-Minister of Health, Dr. Phouthone Muangpak
(Right) H.E Madame Sengdeuan Lachanthaboune, Minister of Education and Sports, (Middle) UNFPA Representative a.i. Mr. Victor Valdivieso, (Left) Vice-Minister of Health, Dr. Phouthone Muangpak

 

For more information please contact:

UNFPA: Ms. Kay amphone Singhalath

Tel: 021 267 680

E-mail: Singhalath@unfpa.org