ADWLE Celebrates International Women’s Day

Laughter and applause echoed through the streets as 900 villagers from four villages in Xaythany District, Vientiane Capital, participated in International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations organised by ADWLE.

Speeches and introductions were given as village members introduced the background and significance of IWD and ADWLE Director Inthana Bouphasavanh spoke about ADWLE and future projects it would be carrying out in the villages.

“The celebrations were a success as families from both Hmong and Lao ethnicities worked together and supported each other during the activities which is a step towards breaking down gender stereotyping and tackling discrimination,” said Law Manager and Program Coordinator Chao ThaoChongpao.

Three main activities were held; first, a cooking competition where six families had to prepare three meals in 30 minutes and a team of judges decided which family won.



Second, families participated in a piggy back race where the winner was the family whose husband could carry his wife then his child across the line first.



Finally, a competition of ‘Golf sao barn’ (Lao-style golf) took place which involved hitting a ball with an eggplant that was dangling from the waist.

The children went first followed by the wife then the husband and the first family to complete the activity won.



Following the activities, each family which participated was given a prize and different representatives of the family were called up to receive the prize.



To mark the end of the celebrations, a Q&A session was carried out where ADWLE staff asked members of the public questions on women’s rights and national laws relating to women.


“This year, IWD was so fun; not only did husbands and wives participate, but their children were also involved and everyone was smiling and laughing,” said ADWLE Program Officer Malita Keopaseuth.

Celebrations were held on two separate days in the two areas where the communities are located.

ADWLE chose to carry out projects in the 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.

This was the first of a series of activities, funded by Bread for the World, that ADWLE will be running in the four villages over a two year period.

For more photos of the celebrations, see below:








ADWLE Director Delivers the Guest Speech at the Annual Australian Alumni Function

ADWLE Director, Inthana Bouphasavanh, was invited to deliver the guest speech to over 300 alumni at the Annual Australian Alumni Function on 10 March 2016.

Inthana received the Australia Awards Scholarship in 1994 where she did a Masters of Arts in TESOL at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, between 1994 and 1996.

Her story was the feature article of Issue No 3 of the Laos Australia Institute Newsletter.

“I am very excited and proud to have received the Australian Scholarship which gave me a chance to develop myself professionally and personally and inspired me to work for women’s rights,” said Inthana.

The theme this year was “Australia and Laos: Building Bridges to a Brighter Future”; this was reflected in the diverse alumni members who attended working in a variety of sectors, including civil society, Government and businesses.

The Australia Awards are funded by the Australian Government and aim to provide educational and development opportunities to successful applicants as well as to continue to strengthen ties between Laos and Australia.

For further information, please visit:



International Womens Day

ADWLE to Celebrate International Women’s Day

ADWLE will celebrate International Women’s Day on 6 and 9 March with four of its target villages.

A series of activities will be run aimed at promoting community participation and family unity, in particular the role that women and girls play in the family unit.

“I am looking forward to seeing the solidarity among family members, how they divide labour roles during the activities and to see how the family works together in order to try and win the competitions,” said ADWLE Director, Inthana Bouphasavanh.

The villages are located in a rural area of Vientiane Capital and are made up of Hmong and Lao ethnicities.

This is the third time that ADWLE is celebrating International Women’s Day.