Promoting Gender Equality through the Rule of Law and Good Governance

awareness raising on CEDAW

Training on gender issue.
Photo by: Oxfam


The project aimed to contribute to a situation in which women have the rights, capacity and opportunity to be safe from violence and enjoy their full and equal human rights, with two specific objectives:

  • Specific objective(s) 1.To enhance and promote the participation of CSOs in gender related policy dialogue with government.

  • Specific objective(s) 2. To build a strong and vibrant women’s movement comprising of women who are empowered individually and collectively to tackle the root causes of inequality and demand the full spectrum of their rights.

The project identified, trained, and created support structures for civil society organizations to engage with government, trained village mediation units (VMU), law students and communities by using the National Strategy for the Advancement of Women to hold Government accountable to its policies and promises. The activities on IEC material production and awareness raising on CEDAW led to increased capacity to address the needs of women in particular in ethnic minority areas. Through training, stronger CSO women networks were successfully engaged in enhancing and protecting women’s rights through community mobilization and Government lobbying and advocacy.

  • The target groups of the project were: Government (NCAW), 8 NPAs and 1 mass organization (GDA, ADWLE, MHP, CAMKID, SAEDA, Lao Bar Association, Sisterhood for development, VYDA, LWU, Vientiane Youth centre)

Project period

1st September 2014 – 31st August 2017 (36 months)

Target Outcomes

1: Lao civil society organizations are able to contribute to the implementation of the Universal periodic Review (UPR) Recommendations adopted by the Lao Government.

2: Lao civil society organizations supported in this action are actively engaged in addressing issues of women’s rights

3: Civil society partners have increased capacity to be involved in CEDAW implementation and monitoring

4: Lao civil society organizations have increased capacity to address the needs of women and ethnic minorities.

5: Women and girls are protected from gender based violence and empowered to exercise their rights by accessing justice.

Project main activities

  • Build capacity of NPAs to engage with NCAW and thereby contributing to the implementation of the UPR.

  • Develop radio programs to increase gender awareness in communities including ethnic minorities,

  • Training on protection of women and girls from gender based violence and access to justice.

  • Capacity building for 8 NPAs and 2 mass organizations on women rights and applying CEDAW in their work.

  • IEC material production, dissemination and use among NPA staff, government counterparts at provincial and district levels.

  • Data collection and analysis on gender based violence, and traditional practices in ethnic minority areas.

  • Train law students on gender issues and CEDAW.

  • Integrate gender into teaching at the Law Faculty of the National University of Laos and Champasak University.

  • Build capacity of VMUs and villagers in 6 villages.

Key Achievements

  • Gender awareness has reached 16 villages in Vientiane Capital (Xaythany District; 6) and Vientiane Province (Mad District; 10) – about 16 trainings on different subjects were provided by the project to community, government, women union and academe;

  • Sensitized and capacitated 42 Village Mediation Authorities in 6 villages;

  • Established partnerships with NCAW and the sub-offices, local women’s unions that resulted to conduct of joint activities, production of campaign materials on television and radio including print handbooks, gender mainstreaming in ministry strategic plans on the advancement of women, and most importantly, trust is built which then open for NPAs access to information and opportunity in influencing processes;

  • Capacitated village focal points as gender focal points;

  • In a behavioral change monitoring done in 6 villages, the VMUs, community women and gender focal points claimed that there, men and women indicated some progress in changing perspective on their roles, women were asking for more trainings themselves while men were helping women in household chores;

  • Contribution to the CEDAW Report of the Government of Laos;

  • 4 researches/booklets produced plus posters, etc.;

  • Established 1 legal clinic which recorded 73 complaints of VAW in 1 district.

Project partners

The project was implemented in collaboration with two Non-profit Association: Association for the Development of Women and Legal Education (ADWLE) and Gender Development Association (GDA).

  • ADWLE contribution to the project: Providing training on CEDAW, gender and national laws promoting the rights of women in Laos to communities, academy and law enforcers.

  • GDA contribution to the project: Capacity building on CEDAW and gender to non-profit associations, government allies including mass organizations, and to communities including ethnic minorities, scalar information disseminated through television and radio and gender mainstreaming in government partners.

Contributing donors

European Union (EU) and Oxfam.