The National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mother-Child (NCAWMC) and Lao Women’s Union (LWU), in collaboration with UNFPA, UNDP, Plan International, and Namjai Association, lit up Patuxay Monument in orange to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women last week.
The event was held to mobilize all networks, including government, United Nations, civil society and women’s rights organizations, organizations working with men and boys, schools, universities, private sector, associations, and individuals to become activists for the prevention of violence against women, to stand to resist the rollback on women’s rights and calling for a world free from Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh called on everyone to work collaboratively to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls through his video message:
‘“I would like to call on domestic, international organizations and civil society organizations in Laos to collaborate and take joint responsibility in combating and suppressing all forms of violence against women so that Lao society becomes a society that embraces generosity and unites as one, a society that truly embraces meaningful gender equality.”
Madame Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, Vice Minister, Deputy Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, and Vice Standing Chairperson of the NCAWMC, said, “As we already know, violence against women has existed for a long time in the world, even though all countries have tried to solve it, but statistical data has shown that the use of violence continues, so we must focus all efforts on prevention and moving towards eliminating violence.”
Mariam A. Khan, UNFPA Representative said, “We are here collectively to say that we do not accept any form of violence against women – domestic violence, online violence, or rape. Instead, we call for positive change to create a society free of violence: gender equality, equal opportunity for women, comprehensive sexuality education, and women feeling safe in public spaces, at home, and online. And to mark this occasion, we will light up beautiful Patuxay in orange to demonstrate that we do not accept violence in Laos.”
Hundreds of people wearing orange to symbolize the global movement took a stand publicly by participating in interactive advocacy activities, entering a song/film competition and the LWU launched their new website and Facebook page.
This event also marked the beginning of this year’s 16 Days of Activism with the theme “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls.”