Lao National Survey on Women’s Health and Life Experiences 2014: A Study on Violence against Women


There is growing recognition globally and also in Lao PDR that VAW is a serious public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights. Yet in Lao PDR, VAW is culturally tolerated. According to the Lao Social Indicator Survey (LSIS) 2011-2012, 58% of women and 49% of men reported that VAW was justified if women did not adhere to traditional gender norms, roles and relations. However, this finding only sheds a small amount of light onto the true scale of the problem. Although small-scale studies have been undertaken on VAW, no comprehensive and extensive nationwide study has followed. Against this background, the National Study on Women’s Health and Life Experiences 2014 was conducted to collect much needed evidence to develop an effective policy-making response to the issue.

This study, adopting the methodology of the WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women, was led by the NCAW and LSB with support from UNFPA and UN Women. NCAW advocates for awareness raising and the development of legislation and policies on VAW with a focus on:

  1. A National Plan of Action to respond to and prevent VAW,
  2. Development of legislation to address VAW,
  3. the 8th and 9th CEDAW Report 2014 and,
  4. An advocacy campaign to eliminate VAW.
The main findings andrecommendations/policy implications of this study are as follows...

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