The National Commission for the Advancement of Women held a mini marathon to commemorate the 16th anniversary of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Vientiane Capital on Saturday Nov 26.
The marathon, which was held in the presence of President of the Lao Women’s Union Mrs Inlavan Keobounphanh, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhone Razmountry, representatives of international organizations and students, started at Patouxay and u-turned at the Presidential Palace.
“This important event is being held to raise public awareness of violence against women and their rights. As we are well aware, violence against women has existed in the world for a long time. The root causes of violence are low educational attainment, superstitions, the observance of obsolete traditions, poverty and as well as misperceptions of gender equity among members of the general public,” said Deputy Prime Minister Sonesay Siphandone.
“Violence against women, both physically and mentally, is the main obstacle and barrier preventing women from accessing opportunities to develop and improve themselves,” said Mr Sonesay.
To address the violence against women in all countries around the world, the United Nations issued an international law known as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It was adopted in 1979 and ratified in 1981 with 189 countries states parties.
It also adopted the Declaration and Plan of Action to protect the rights of women and girls in all spheres. In 2013, ASEAN countries issued the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children.
The Lao government has endorsed necessary legislations such as laws on combating and preventing violence against women and children, and the national plan of action on the prevention and elimination of violence against women and children 2014-2020.
“We should extend to the victims of violence, help, mental – health counseling, safety shelters, legal assistance, and create favourable conditions for ethnic women to access education, training, employment, financial assistance, and income generation, as well as strengthen our bilateral cooperation with neighboring countries to exchange experiences and mobilize technical and financial support to combat violence against women and children,” said Mr Sonexay.
Source: Lao News Agency