By Wanweena Tangsathianraphap, IFRC
To mark the importance of women’s role in society, Lao Red Cross joined several activities to celebrate International Women’s Day. One of the highlights was a public march organised by Lao Women’s Union, held at That Luang temple in Vientiane.
With more than 4,000 participants, this event, held on 4 March, attracted a lot of attention. During the march, Lao Red Cross Vice President, Dr. Sing Manolat and the Red Cross team also promoted the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, Be bold for change. The campaign aims to encourage everyone to be a leader within their own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity and help women advance and unleash their potential.
“I can see changes happening in the country. There is more work for women nowadays and I would like to see these changes continue to empower women to achieve their ambition,” said Dr. Vansay Chanthalangsy from Mahosot hospital, who participated in the march.
Lao Red Cross has been playing an active role in supporting women and has reached impressive milestone with its gender and diversity agenda. Working together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the “Lao Red Cross, Strategy for the Advancement of Women 2016-2020” has been developed and endorsed in 2016. The strategy integrated the IFRC’s Minimum Standard Commitments to Gender and Diversity in Emergency Practice (MSC) guidelines. It was also combined with a plan of action for each unit and a monitoring system to ensure accountability to the commitments outlined in the plan.
On 7 March, Laos Red Cross also attended the Women’s Economics Empowerment and Gender Equality in Sustainable Environment Protection Workshop. During the workshop representatives from various UN agencies and other organisations as well as government officials discussed and shared ideas on various issues related to women.
“Since 2013, we have been working to promote gender equality and to advocate for the role of women in society with various stakeholders, both in country and at the international level. We have been supported financially and through technical advice to ensure that an effective strategy is in place,” said Lao Red Cross Vice President Dr. Sing during the workshop.
For more information on the IFRC’s Gender and Diversity work in Southeast Asia, please click here.