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Jesmin Aktar lives in a village of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She regularly attends UN Women's "Shanti Khana" [Multi-Purpose Women's Centre – MPWC] learning sessions and is dedicated to improving her life by pursuing a challenging job and contributing to society.
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After working in Thailand for almost two years as a migrant domestic worker, Douang Keomouangluang returned to her home in Nong Kae Village in the southern province of Salavan in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) in September 2020. She wanted to be with her husband and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, but admits she had no clear plan of what to do for work. “I did not prepare to set up a business,” she said. “I just wanted to be back home. With the THB 50,000 (USD 1,500) that I saved, I built a house and bought appliances and a motorbike.”
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In the past 18 months, by trapping women with their abusers, COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have worsened the already-widespread violence against women while preventing many of them from getting help. But even those who do manage to contact the police come up against another long-standing challenge: a culture and system that treats the survivor as a big part of the problem.
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Interview with Inthava Thonpheng, volunteer at the Lao Federation of Trade Unions Migrant Worker Resource Centre (MRC) in Savannakhet, Lao PDR
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As I play tag with Minta, a beaming four-year-old, it’s easy to forget the tragic circumstances that brought this bright-eyed girl and her mother to a UN Women-led skills training for women victims of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Xieng Khouang, a town in the north-east of Lao PDR. Tired from running, Minta settles into a chair, giggling, and I can’t resist reaching for my camera to capture her radiant face, pink from the exercise.
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As their country joins in a global campaign to stop violence against women, Lao journalists are better able to cover the issue at home and promote gender equality thanks to a training supported by UN Women, in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund...
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Government officials of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand have jointly recommended steps to protect the millions of migrant workers in the region from exploitation and abuse. The officials from various ministries made the recommendations at a 24-25 May consultation that also included employers, civil society and international humanitarian organizations, and United Nations agencies - UN Women, International Organization for Migration...
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As poor Lao villagers cross into Thailand to start new lives as migrant workers, they can soothe some of their worries by carrying in their suitcases a colorful, friendly UN Women booklet. UN Women's Safe Migration Booklet, which features the always-upbeat Thai cartoon character Noohin (Little Hin), tells the migrants everything they need to know to make their journeys smooth and trouble-free. The Safe Migration Booklet is displayed on a rack...
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By taking photos of everyday life around them, a group of students at Vientiane High School have learned the value of all the work that women do in the society and in the family. Earlier this year, UN Women and the International Labour Organization held a series of discussions with the students about women’s rights and women’s work, and organized photography training so the students could go out and...
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I decided to build my career in two male-dominated industries—banking and law. When I started practising law there were partners (both women and men) that I worked for who asked me to make them coffee or pick up their dry cleaning, simply because I was a young woman. It was demoralising and disheartening.However, I also saw many people, again both women and men, who...
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Every morning, Mrs. Khong rises before dawn to prepare the morning meal and tidy her modest home for her family in Vientiane, the capital of Lao PDR. As her husband and young children awake, she already has several hours of work behind her and hurries to the local market to set up her small, road-side stall selling fresh fruit and snacks, in time to catch the morning rush of customers. Mrs. Khong is worried. There have been rumours that the market will be developed and that she will be forced out or won’t be able to pay the increased rent...
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On 1 February, 2017 UN Women in Lao PDR will launch two landmark reports in Vientiane Capital, on the importance of gender equality, women’s empowerment and advocacy for gender-responsive policies. The reports are: (*) Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights, and (*) Baseline Study on Situation of Women Market Vendors in Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR. The launch event will also include a robust discussion panel by expert panellists...
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UN Women, with the support of Australian Government had developed landmark tools for estimating the resources required to respond to violence against women in South East Asia. With growing evidence that violence against women is a major drag on national economies, there is new interest in understanding what the costs of appropriate responses are for governments to curtail the short and long term consequences, and support survivors in their journey for healing and justice. The total cost of...
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A landmark report has revealed that almost a third of women in Lao People’s Democratic Republic have experienced physical violence, sexual violence or emotional abuse at the hands of their partners, in most cases their husbands. Commissioned by the Government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and with the support of UN Women and the World Health Organization, the Lao National Survey on Women's Health and Life Experiences 2014 marks the...
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UN Women Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Roberta Clarke, visited Lao PDR to join different advocacy events on occasion of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Her visit coincided with the official visit of Helen Clark, Chair of the United Nations Development Group and Administrator of UNDP. On November 26, UN Women Regional Director attended a celebration event at the Lao National Stadium to mark International Day for the Elimination of...
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Vientiane, Lao PDR - Helen Clark, Head of the United Nations Development Group and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, visited the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to join the 12th High-level Roundtable Meeting. Over 300 delegates from the government and development actors also participated, to discuss partnerships and cooperation for the effective implementation of the 8th Lao National Socio-Economic Development Plan. Helen Clark, Head of UN Development Group...
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UN Women Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Roberta Clarke, will visit Lao PDR to participate in different advocacy events related to the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Her visit coincides with the High-level Roundtable Meeting and the official visit of Helen Clark, Chair of the United Nations Development Group and Administrator of UNDP. Among other events, UN Women Regional Director will join 1500 students to celebrate International Day for the Elimination...
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For the first time a comprehensive data collection and management system on labour migration has been created in the People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) of Lao. The system will monitor the legal protection for women migrant workers in Laos, one of the largest sending countries of women labourers to other parts of Asia and the Pacific. In line with the national Labour Development Strategy, CEDAW Concluding Observations on Women Migrant Workers, the Ministry...
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UN Women Indonesia, in partnership with the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, and Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence Against Women convened a National Workshop with the National Human Rights Mechanisms on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Women’s Human Rights on...
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To mark this month’s Orange Day, the Lao Ministry of Educations and Sports (MoES) with support from UN Women is releasing a video clip, or public service announcement, to call for public attention on the need to break the...