- General

National Action Plans launched for promoting gender equality, combating violence against women and children

NCAWMC, with support from UNFPA and UNICEF, on Dec 16 officially launched the 4th National Plan of Action on Gender Equality (2021-2025), the 2nd National Plan of Action on Violence against Women and Children (2021-2025), the 3rd National Plan of Action on Mothers and Children (2021-2025), and National Women Development Plan (2021-2025).

Developed through technical and financial support from UNFPA, funding from KOICA and other partners, the government endorsed the National Action Plans in May this year and through October, November, integrated them into provincial and sectoral plans across 18 provinces.

Mr Kikeo Khaikhamphitoun, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairperson of NCAWMC “Gender equality is fundamental to advancing women’s rights and eliminating violence against women and children. In the past, NCAWMC had put in significant efforts to research, develop, and implement past National Action Plans and other instruments as references to integrate these plans into sectoral and provincial socio-economic plans. In the next five years, we will continue to implement the new National Action Plans, with a specific focus on creating equal opportunities for women and men in all spheres, investing in human resources development, strengthening law enforcement, and implementing international treaties and instruments on women’s and children’s rights, as well as raising public awareness for behavior change.”

The National Plan of Action on Violence against Women and Children focuses on three core areas to address violence against women and children: prevention, response, and multisectoral coordination. The National Plan of Action on Gender Equality prioritizes women’s health and reproductive health, political participation, economic empowerment, education, employment, and social protection.

UNFPA Representative for Lao PDR Mariam A. Khan congratulated NCAWMC for its leadership in preparing and launching the plans. She said, “The Action Plans are timely as COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted women and girls across all spheres. Implementing these plans to promote gender equality and prevent and respond to violence against women and girls over the next five years will be essential for Laos’ economic growth and recovery. The plans integrate the Lao Government’s commitments to promote gender equality and eliminate GBV, including obligations under CEDAW, the ICPD25 commitments, the Beijing Platform for Action and the SDGs.”

Ms. Khan also thanked KOICA, DFAT, UK, SDC, and other partners for their support and partnerships in ending GBV under the umbrella of the Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence (ESP). “The UNFPA and Government of Laos’ 7th Country Programme (2022-2026) will scale up GBV prevention and response by rolling out the ESP, implementing the NAPs, and ensuring high-quality services are available to survivors of violence in every province. In addition, existing protection services will be upgraded and new protection shelters will be established to provide social services, including shelter, psychosocial support, medical and legal assistance, essential supplies, and vocational training to survivors of violence,” she added.

Source: Lao News Agency