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Laos to have law on gender equality

Lao Women’s Union President, Dr Inlavanh Keobounphan, on Thursday asked the National Assembly to consider and approve a new law in support of gender equality.
She presented a draft of the Law on Gender Equality for lawmakers to discuss and approve, saying the legislation was needed to ensure the implementation of the Party and government’s policy on women’s advancement.

Speaking at the 8th session of the 8th Legislature of the National Assembly, Dr Inlavanh said the Party considered the advancement of women to be important for national protection and construction.
The late President Kaysone once observed that women were not only a force for all areas of development but also gave birth to that force, Dr Inlavanh said, as she gave Assembly members the big picture on the Party’s policy on women’s development.
Given the pivotal role that women play in society, Dr Inlavanh said the Party acknowledged the importance of empowering women so they could fully take part in the construction and development of modern society.
To implement Party and government policies, she said the Lao National Commission for the Advancement of Women and Children had partnered with other sectors to devise a strategy to promote the advancement of women and gender equality, as well as prevent violence against women.
But Dr Inlavanh said that despite this policy intervention, enforcement of legislation was not widespread and did not reach all of the target groups.  As a result, progress on the road to gender equality was slow. At present, many women in Laos still face challenges, especially those living in rural areas, she said, highlighting the need for a law on gender equality.
Many women live in poverty, while others have to work hard and many women still lack education and have limited access to health care, she added.
Other challenges Laos faces include the high rate of maternal mortality, while many women are at risk of domestic violence, social discrimination, and falling into the trap of human trafficking. Dr Inlavanh said one of the main purposes of the law was to put Party policy, the Lao Constitution, and other legislation into practice.
She said the law would also help to strengthen the capacity of women’s development policy administrators to realise the 2030 Vision on the Advancement of Women and help Laos fulfil the international conventions it is a party to, as well as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The law would also make the administration and monitoring of gender equality more effective, she said.

ByEkaphone Phouthonesy
(Latest Update November 29, 2019)

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