15 July 2015
Over 2000 villagers, of whom more than half were women, participated in raising awareness sessions held by the Association for Development of Women and Legal Education (ADWLE) between January and July 2015.
In July 2015, ADWLE completed its one year project working with, among others, six villages in Champasak Province to promote gender equality and an increase in rural women’s political participation.
“ADWLE is thrilled at the success of the project, with numbers exceeding our target of 300 participants,” ADWLE Director, Inthana Bouphavasanh, said.
12 Village Volunteers (VV) were trained to raise awareness in their villages about gender roles, labour division, national and international women’s rights laws and conventions and the protection of women and girls from human trafficking.
During the evaluation, VV stated: “Many villagers are aware of their rights and understand the women’s role and they both help each other to earn an income for their family which reduces incidences of fighting.”
Villagers themselves were grateful for the sessions saying that they now “understand how to apply a gender dimension into their families by treating women equally when it comes to decision making.”
Some villagers even said that they would vote for a female chief of village in an effort to empower women and to give them an opportunity to participate in the development of their villages.
The promotion of women’s rights within villages, particularly rural and ethnic minority communities, is one of the pillars of ADWLE’s work.
To date, the projects have been well received by the beneficiaries who have asked for continued assistance from ADWLE to disseminate knowledge and skills on laws related to women in order to have a deeper understanding of their own rights, family law and women’s rights.