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Meeting reviews headway in reducing gender-based violence

The government and development partners have reviewed progress in implementing the ‘Bringing Justice Closer to Women Suffering from Gender Based Violence’ project from 2016-2019.
The Vientiane National Commission for the Advancement of Women and Mother-Child (NCAWMC) and Sub Commission for the Advancement of Women on Friday held an implementation management committee meeting and final revaluation report for the project.
The 228,700 EUR project, funded by the European Union and implemented by Helvetas Laos, aimed to reduce gender-based violence and increase access to justice for vulnerable women through awareness raising and training.
Specific objectives of the project were to strengthen the social, economic and cultural rights of women with regard to gender-based violence. This was done through improved awareness, knowledge and capacities among women, civil society organisations, and key stakeholders.
The meeting reported key project results from 2016-2019 with communities having increased levels of awareness on gender-based violence, while legal aid clinics are functional and provide legal services to women.
Judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials are now more aware of gender-based violence and handle cases according to the law.
Civil society capacities have been enhanced for service delivery and policy dialogue on gender-based violence.
Vulnerable women have received legal aid consultation and law assistance, and community volunteers benefitted from gender-based violence consultation workshops.
Village authorities also benefitted from training on gender equality, and community members benefitted from gender-based violence awareness raising and mobile legal aid activity.
Gender-based violence is violence inflicted on women and children. The acts of such violence usually result in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including physical violence where a woman is beaten or harmed by her husband and suffers bruises or scratches.
Sexual gender-based violence is rape, attempted rape or forced marriage/early child marriage.
Psychological gender-based violence is threats of violence or harassment and humiliation, and economic gender-based violence is not allowing women to work or make financial decisions in the family.
According to NCAWMC, the national commission and development partners had made progress on a framework for the protection and eradication of violence against women and improved legislation to match women’s rights.
This has also strengthened the understanding of government bodies on the protection of women, hoping to curb violence against women and children in Laos.

By Keoviengkhone Bounviseth
(Latest Update August 19, 2019)

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