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Lao PDR Agrees to Endorse Five-Year Plans To Advance Women’s Right and Gender Equality

21 May 2021
Lao PDR Agrees to Endorse Five-Year Plans To Advance Women’s Right and Gender Equality

Vientiane 21th May 2021 - The Government of Laos has officially agreed to endorse the Second National Plan of Action on Preventing and Elimination of Violence Against Women and Violence against Children (2021-2025) (NPAVAWVAC) and the Fourth National Plan of Action on Gender Equality (2021-2025) (NPAGE) at a Government Meeting of May, chaired by H.E Phankham Viphavanh, Prime Minister of Lao PDR. The new NPAVAWAC and NPAGE were developed under the leadership of the National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers, and Children (NCAWMC), with technical and financial support from UNFPA, as well as financial support from ILO, UN Women and CARE International.

H.E Dr. Inlavanh Keobounphanh, Chairperson of LWU and Standing-Deputy Chairperson of the NCAWMC presented the new NAPs at the government meeting. The NPAVAWVAC emphasises three core areas to address violence against women and children: prevention, response and coordination. The prevention initiative places responsibility on relevant ministries and sectors to raise awareness on EVAW, as well as changing public attitudes and behaviors. The response piece aims at strengthening the quality essential services by the social, health, police and justice sectors. Coordination between line ministries and sub-national ministries outlined in the NPAs will improve efforts to provide coordinated quality multisectoral responses to GBV. The NPAGE prioritises women’s health and reproductive health, political participation, economic empowerment, education, employment and social protection.

Dr Keobounphanh commended the Government on its agreement to endorse the NPAs, stating that “the NPAs will serve as a national guide for the Government’s actions to promote gender equality and prevent and respond to violence against women over the next five years. After these NPAs are officially endorsed, each ministry, sub-ministry and the local authorities, supported by development organisations and the private sector, has a role and responsibility to effectively implement them. Sectors are accountable to report on its implementation to NCAWMC. NCAWMC will be responsible for monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the implementation of each sector to central government, regional and to international committees.

Lessons learned from previous NPA’s implementation and the Lao government's international commitments to promote gender equality and eliminate GBV, including obligations under CEDAW, the ICPD25, the Beijing Platform for Action, and the SDGs, were incorporated into the new NPAs.

NCAWMC facilitated a number of policy dialogues and consultations with civil society organizations, UN agencies, development partners, and the government to develop the new NAPs, with technical support from UNFPA. These NPAs will be integrated into the National Socio-Economic Development Plan and ministries and sub-ministries’ plans, with continuing technical support from UNFPA and financial support from the KOICA funded-Joint Programme between UNFPA/UNDP.

To ensure that the NPAs are implemented effectively and successfully, the government and development partners are required to sustain investment over the next five years to ensure that gender equality is promoted, women and girls are better protected from violence, and survivors of violence have increased access to quality coordinated response services.

The implementation of the NPAs falls under UNFPA’s broader work implementing the Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, which is also funded by DFAT, UK and SDC. UNFPA will continue working closely with NCAWMC.

Mariam Khan, the UNFPA Representative, congratulated the government for this important milestone. She said “the two National Action Plans apply a multi-sectoral approach that helps prevent and respond to violence against women systematically and in a timely manner. They will ensure improved coordination and quality services for women and girls in need. Over the next five years, UNFPA will continue working alongside the government and partners to step up efforts to realise the rights of women and girls”.

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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

 

For more information please contact:

 

Ms. Sisouvanh Vorabouth, Programme Gender Analyst

Email: vorabouth@unfpa.org

 

 

Ms. Vanly Lorkuangming, Communications and Partnership Analyst

Email: lorkuangming@unfpa.org 

 

Ms. Phetmany Viyadeth, Communications Consultant

Email: viyadeth@unfpa.org