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.

IMG_7302

IMG_7351

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.

IMG_7282

IMG_7390

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.

IMG_7280

IMG_7369

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

IMG_7313

IMG_7398

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.

IMG_7420

“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:

IMG_7218

IMG_7262

IMG_7275

IMG_7301

IMG_7355

IMG_7353

IMG_7359

We say NO to violence against women

ADWLE Celebrates Ending Violence Against Women Day

4th December

Over 300 students participated in activities co-organised by ADWLE and the Sub-Commission for the Advancement of Women (Sub-CAW) to celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Four Secondary Schools based in Vientiane Capital took part in the celebrations: Ho Chi Minh, Thadkhao, Phiawat and Chanthabury.

We say NO to violence against women

Each School performed a theatre piece which tackled different situations of gender-based violence, including rape, human trafficking and domestic violence.

At the end of their performance, one student from that school sung a song.

Students were also invited up onto the stage to participate in gender-based violence themed games, including a Q&A where they were asked questions about different aspects of gender-based violence.

We say NO to violence against women

“We are thrilled with the number of students who took part in today’s events,” said Phayao Phimmasone, Gender Manager for ADWLE.

“The room was filled with so much excitement and enthusiasm to get involved in the activities,” he said.

Two speeches were given by Mr. Somphou Kepanya, the Director of Vientiane Capital Educational and Sport Department, and Mrs. Souphone Volavong, Head of Sub-CAW, who talked about the background and purpose of ending violence against women day.

We say NO to violence against women

ADWLE aims to raise awareness among the Lao youth about gender norms and gender-based violence in order to promote gender equality.

“We hope that the future generations of Laos will have a deeper understanding of gender-based violence and become active in the fight against it,” said Inthana Bouphasavanh, Director of ADWLE.

This is the fifth consecutive year that ADWLE has been involved in coordinating activities to mark the day.

Each year a different Province is selected: Champasak Province (2014), Vientiane Capital (2013), Khammouane Province (2012) and Savannakhet Province (2011).