Violence against women still a major concern in Laos

Laos needs to increase cooperation with development partners to help eliminate violence against women and girls, with a focus on economic development. A strong partnership among the government, development partners and the private sector is required to ensure adequate and sustainable resources to end violence against women and girls. Studies show that men who are employed fulltime and maintain bread winner status in the family are less likely to commit violent crimes against women. The employment status of women is another indicator as to whether they are likely to fall victim to violence by their partners. One of the major challenges in preventing and ending violence against women in Laos is a substantial funding shortfall. Violence against women and girls includes domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking and the enforcement of traditional practices, such as forced child marriage. Speaking at a recent workshop on violence against women, Vice President of the Lao Women’s Union and Acting President of the Lao National Organisation for the Advancement of Women’s Rights, Ms Padith Pathoumvanh, said such actions constitute a human rights violation and are a serious obstacle to sustainable development. Violence also imposes large-scale costs on families and communities.

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