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Government guarantees gender equality through quota system

Caption:Mrs Malayvieng Sakonhninhom.
To mark the 108th International Women’s Day on March 8, I, Malayvieng Sakonhninhom, the wife of the Lao Ambassador to India, congratulate the Lao Women’s Union. Congratulations to the Lao Women’s Union under the elegant and efficient chairmanship of Mrs Inlavanh Keobounphanh, and blessings to every woman in their success in the fight to eliminate sexual discrimination and in defending gender equality with the quota system as the legal guarantee. In fact, it’s already been recognised that the implementation of gender equality rights will be possible with these three key factors: first, women need to be educated and to a higher level; second, women must be independent, including in financial matters; and third, women must be involved in the nation’s executive administration. If these three factors are not achieved, we will not be able to help women nationwide. There are still many women who work hard from morning to evening to earn a living, people who live in remote areas and still hold on to their original beliefs – development needs to be introduced across the country to allow these women more freedom. It has been found that violence against women and children exists in four ways: 1. Violence against the body 2. Violence against the mind 3. Sexual violence 4. Violence against property or economically Over the past few years, the world has found that the instrument that will lead to successful implementation of gender equality is the quota system or the shared system, which the most advanced members of the United Nations have implemented in a bid to achieve gender equality. The 2030 United Nations strategy documents on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2030) for women have determined that they should be involved in management in a 50-50 ratio. From the statistics of 2016, we can see that there are more than 270 national councils across the world and women account for 30 percent of the seats in 68 parliaments (including Laos’ National Assembly and local councils where they account for 30.25 percent) which meets the target set by the government. Speaking specifically about Laos, the reason why the National Assembly is made up of 30.25 percent women members is because the Party and State attach importance to the role of Lao women. The State and Party have set out a policy of defining gender equality and promoting the role of women in social and economic development plans and creating various pieces of legislation. Lao women are hopeful that, one day, the quota system will become another law which will further promote their position in society. The strategy plan for Lao women from now until 2025 is focused on creating conditions for women to participate in management positions at different levels. Laos will struggle to meet these targets, which is about 70 percent in villages, 40 percent in districts, 35 percent in Vientiane and 30 percent in the central government. I see that women in Laos are very happy and express their admiration, gratitude and loyalty to the Party and State at all times because they look to encourage women throughout Laos. We see that the Party-State, which was born from the 10th Party Congress, has shown to the people of Laos the concepts, directions, policies and practices of President Kaysone Phomvihane, the beloved leader of the Lao people. “If senior officials are weak, there is a high chance of having a weak successor. Moreover, the leadership does not want to use those who are better than them to result in a lack of succession.” Even though women have not been able to achieve all their goals, they cannot deny that they are today able to reach the highest levels of political power such as the Politburo, the Party Central Committee, the National Assembly, and the government, and have become ministers, deputy ministers, provincial governors, district governors and village heads. In addition, women can be doctors, police officers or military personnel, doctors, teachers and diplomats and, most importantly, can be good role models for their families.
By Times Reporters
Lastest 06 March 2018

Renowned artist inspired by Lao lifestyles

Caption:Mr May Chandavong and his wife.
When it comes to artistic talent in depicting landscapes, the lifestyle of ethnic groups, festivals, and Lao culture, Mr May Chandavong is considered to be among the top 10 artists turning out paintings for an appreciative audience. The 52 years he has spent creating more than 200 portraits and murals are testament to the quality of his work, which is admired both in Laos and abroad. Mr May’s work is based on the skills he learnt in Vietnam and France. His paintings are not the result of speed or whimsy, but come about through patience, delicacy of touch, and insight. Even though he is now 75 years old, he is still invited to share his experience through teaching up-and-coming artists as a way to preserve traditional painting skills for as long as possible. Born into a farming family in Tanpiew village, Thoulakhom district, Vientiane province, Mr May grew up surrounded by the natural world and among rural people. This shaped his style, resulting in paintings that portrayed the landscape, Lao culture and the lifestyle of various ethnic groups. “These features are my trademarks and what makes my work popular with customers,” said Mr May, who now lives in Thatluang-tai village, Xaysettha district, Vientiane. Before becoming a recognised artist, he won prizes in contests held in Laos and abroad. He began honing his skills in art back in 1959, after finishing secondary school. While at art school, six scholarships to study art in Vietnam became available. He and 60 other students took an exam in hopes of winning one of the coveted scholarships. He was successful and spent the next four years studying art in Vietnam. In his first year, he studied portrait painting, followed by tuition in general painting the second year. In his third and fourth years, he worked hard to perfect both kinds of painting. In addition to the painting skills he gained, he learnt patience, which he put to good use in his daily life and work. He returned to Vientiane in 1966 and taught art at the Fine Art School which at that time was located in Anou village, Chanthabouly district. He also became a director of the school. In 1970, he won a scholarship to study mural painting in Paris, France, where he spent two years. After the two years were up, Mr May returned to Laos and continued to teach at the Fine Art School. In 1988 he asked for retirement but was only given a gratuity pension because he had worked for the government for less than 30 years. After receiving his pension, in 1992 Mr May visited a relative in the United States in 1992, where he stayed for six years. He returned to Laos in 1998 and pursued the line of art that gave him the most satisfaction. He was invited to teach painting at government institutions and schools and set up the Mask Gallery as a place where established artists could exhibit their work. In 2003, he founded the Lao Fine Art Association to promote the work of Lao artists and is now its Vice President. Since 1966 Mr May has turned out more than 200 paintings, some of which have been sold in Laos and some in other countries when he held exhibitions. Most of the pictures he paints portray his favourite subjects: landscapes, ethnic lifestyles, festivals, and Lao culture. “All of my work is a true portrayal of life in Laos. My paintings are very realistic and viewers are made to feel like they are actually part of the picture and the events taking place,” Mr May said.
By Xayxana Leukai
Lastest 24 Febuary 2018