Lao National Women’s Day 20th July 2019
Celebrated on 21 July 2019 at Dongbang village, Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital
Laughter and applause echoed as more than 270 villagers from ADWLE’s 15 target villages in Xaythany District and representatives from the Vientiane branch of Lao Women’s Union participated in Lao National Women’s Day celebrations organized by ADWLE. The event was supported with funding from Voice and Bread For The World.
To kick off the celebrations, we provided t-shirts for all so that they could join in the morning aerobics dance. Our slogan of the day was “Good health because of no violence“. Aerobics is an activity that is good for health and it was great to see all participants enjoying and having fun together. For many of them, it was their first time to experience it.
After aerobics, village authorities gave an official welcome and highlighted the background and significance of National Women’s Day and ending violence against women. ADWLE Director Inthana Bouphasavanh spoke about ADWLE and and its plans for future projects in the villages. Other activities on the day included:
1. A speech about history of National Women’s Day, this year being the 64th year anniversary – by Mrs. Vanvilay Vongsavath Vice-President, Lao Women’s Union of Xaythany District
2. Traditional Hmong dancing by volunteers from Nasala village
3. A ‘role play’ competition between 2 teams of newly married couples who have participated in ADWLE’s pilot workshops on GALS (gender action learning system). The teams acted out the key lessons they have learned about gender equality and mutual respect between men and women.
4. ADWLE’s mobile legal clinic and paralegals were on site to disseminate information about laws on gender-based violence and offer free legal consultation
It was clear from everyone’s smiles and laughter that they enjoyed this celebration.
“I arrived at 7am to get a shirt. This year was special because we had aerobics. I was so happy with the day’s activities. I learned about gender equality, anti-violence against women, protecting women and children, and about ADWLE and their projects. I will tell other people about what I learned today, and will use the knowledge in my daily life” – Mrs Hieng, Nasala Village
“I was very happy to attend the celebration. The aerobics was new for me. The acting by the newly married couples was very interesting because it helped me understand more about gender equality and I could see the couples were more harmonious after learning with ADWLE. I want ADWLE to do activities in other villages in the next year and everyone to feel comfortable to attend the activities” – Mr Porjoua Yan, ThadindengTai Village
ADWLE chose to carry out projects in these target villages due to their remoteness and ethnic diversity as well as reports of gender inequality, low levels of education, particularly among the female community members, and incidences of gender-based violence. We are pleased to see that our interventions are helping to increase gender equality and empower women and girls.
For more photos of celebrations, see below: