Mekong region tackles stereotypes’ impact on violence against women

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) -Representatives from the five Mekong sub-regional countries of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam are meeting to strengthen their understanding of the impact of gender norms and stereotypes on violence against women.

The two-day conference, which ends today in Vientiane, is being conducted by the National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mother and Child together with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, and the Gender Development Association.

The event is being supported by the Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms (ALIGN) Fund, an initiative led by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) of the United Kingdom.

Some 263 participants are attending the conference including those from related government sectors, the United Nations, INGOs, civil society organisations, private companies, and students.

Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry, who is President of the Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mother and Child, noted in his opening remarks the importance of the conference, saying first-time regional participants could share their ideas about gender equality and preventing violence against women.

He also called on participants to discuss issues with experts at the conference and strengthen their understanding of gender equality.

The conference aims to promote dialogue and critical reflection on the latest evidence, paradigms, concepts and approaches to promote/utilise positive gender norm change, combat gender-based violence and promote gender equality in development, as well as consider the implications for policy and programming, according to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

The conference gives participants the opportunity to share their experiences about the gender norms which are causing violence in communities across the sub-region.

Attendees are also gaining an understanding of how to implement Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 including reducing the impacts of negative gender norms affecting women and children through development and promotion in the media.

The meeting heard that to move toward the elimination of violence against women in all communities, all experts, researchers and youth have to work together to achieve the SDG and empower women and children.

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