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LWU and UNFPA ensure Protection of Women and Girls during COVID-19

14 May 2021
LWU and UNFPA ensure Protection of Women and Girls during COVID-19

 

Vientiane, 13 May 2021 – To support the joint Government of Laos and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) COVID-19 response, UNFPA with partners the Crown Plaza and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) provided essential supplies to the Protection and Counselling Center for Women and Children of the Lao Women’s Union (LWU) today.

 

Women and girls in protection shelters, quarantine and isolation facilities and Women Friendly Spaces (WFS) in Vientiane Capital, Savannakhet and Attapeu will benefit from the 6000 masks and 8825 sanitary pads, 1000 pack of soaps,  digital thermometers and hand washing gel provided to improve sanitary conditions and prevent further infection of  COVID-19. It is  critical at this time to maintain continuity of essential services for women and girls including maternal health,  sexual and reproductive health and protection services for women and girls.

 

Madam Bandith Pathoumvanh, the Vice President of LWU said “on behalf of the LWU, I would like to thank UNFPA, Crowne Plaza, SDC and Private sector partners for their support to provide protective equipment for women and girls. These equipment will improve their daily lives, and help them to stay safe and healthy.”

 

Whilst ensuring safety, the current stay-at-home measures may put women at an increased risk of gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and other harmful practices, such as early marriage. According to information from LWU Protection Center for Women and Children, the number of cases of intimate partner violence, sexual abuse and requests for counseling increased during the last lockdown period.

 

UNFPA Laos has been working closely with the Government and development partners to ensure additional attention and gender-responsive measures are implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. UNFPA collaborates with LWU to run a hotline providing mental health and psychosocial support to survivors of gender-based violence, over 590 calls were made for support during the second half of 2020.

 

“In times of crisis, it is essential that gender-responsive interventions to prevent violence, to maintain sexual and reproductive health and protect mental health and psychosocial well-being are available for women and girls across the country. Protecting and promoting women and girl’s rights are the cornerstone of our programmes and we are pleased to be doing so in partnership with development agencies and the private sector” - said Mariam Khan, the Representative of UNFPA Lao PDR.

 

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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