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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

16 Days of Activism 2022 Wraps up with Great Success

This Week

The German Embassy, Vientiane, and UNFPA spearheaded an advocacy event last week to wrap up the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The Government, development partners, and students assembled at the embassy to jointly say “No” to Gender-Based Violence and to carry the effort to eliminate violence against women and girls over to the upcoming year.

This year, 76 partners in Laos successfully joined UNFPA to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

The special guest of the night, H.E. Madame Inlavanh Keobounphanh, the President of the Lao Women’s Union (LWU), Standing Vice Chairperson of The National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers, and Children (NCAWMC), who is a key leader in the provision of the protection of rights of women and girls in the country, urged stakeholders to work together to prevent and respond to GBV.

“I would like to call on all ministries-organizations, civil society organizations, and stakeholders to prevent violence against women and children cooperatively. Particularly the men, to end the violence against women and girls, men also play an important role in this joint efforts,” she said

For 2022, NCAWMC, LWU, and UNFPA kicked off the campaign on 25th November with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women commemoration at Patuxay.

This was followed during the 16 days by many interventions: broadcasting the Prime Minister’s Message for the Elimination of Violence against Women on television, and radio; seminars, and fun walks; arranging open dialogue between the government, international organizations, development partners, and civil society organizations; training to the media on GBV, interviewed the policymakers; lit Patuxay and other buildings Orange; singing contests and dramas; self-defense classes for women, young women, transwomen and women with disabilities and much more, from the 76 partners across the country.

Mariam A. Khan, UNFPA Representative, said, “The global population recently reached 8 billion, and Laos’ population will reach 8.1 million by 2030. Half of the world’s population and in Laos is women and girls, yet when we use data to view the quality of education, health, access to opportunities, and safety, we clearly see that half of the population is not enjoying equal opportunity benefits. But the good news is: in Laos, laws, and policies are well developed to protect women’s and girls’ rights. There is ample space for advocacy and dialogue on the matter; what we are focusing on is implementing these laws and policies and strategies!”

During her opening remarks, Ms. Annette Knobloch, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, said, “Germany is one of the key donors of UNFPA and strongly supports the goals of the UN agency, particularly in Laos. We both are committed to continuing working with the Lao government in a close and visible way to end violence against women through targeted measures.”

The 16 Days of Activism (DoA) against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations worldwide.

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