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Women’s advocacy group spreads message about gender equality

The Association for Development of Women and Legal Education (ADWLE) and the Vientiane Women’s Union are working to build greater understanding of gender equality among women in Xaythany district, as part of efforts to reduce violence against women.
The work of these two organisations typifies activities taking place around International Women’s Day, and focuses on culture and traditions as influential forces in shaping gender roles and family relations in the district.
Speaking at an event to mark International Women’s Day, ADWLE Director Ms Inthana Bouphasavanh said the association hoped to encourage women to share their experiences and engage in dialogue, in a bid to eradicate violence against women.
She said participants would also learn about the importance of International Women’s Day and the need for equality between women and men. It is hoped that community leaders will take steps to prevent and respond to violence against women in their neighbourhoods.
Most women are often too embarrassed to speak out about their experiences and are concerned about tarnishing their family’s reputation so they are reluctant to tell anyone about their suffering, Ms Inthana said.
The association hopes to reduce violence against women through increased access to community-based response mechanisms that promote equality between women and men, she added.
Women would also learn how they could improve their quality of life and play a greater role in planning and decision-making in their local communities by promoting gender equality and greater opportunities for women, along with contributing to poverty reduction initiatives.
In recent years, the association and its development partners have made progress on a framework for the protection and eradication of violence against women including sexual harassment, and have improved legislation in line with women’s rights
ADWLE was founded in 2008 under the Ministry of Home Affairs with a mandate to promote and address gender equality, women’s rights, and access to the legal system by women.
The association has conducted activities at law colleges in the capital and in Champassak province in a bid to end violence against women.
ADWLE has partnered with districts and 15 target villages in Vientiane. Together, this collaboration has designed programmes that cater to women’s needs, such as by providing legal aid clinics for vulnerable women.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
March 9,

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