March 9, 2018 - Vientiane, Lao PDR

International Women's Day Workshop

On March 7th, the Australian Embassy in Laos and the Laos Australia Development Learning Facility celebrated the importance of International Women’s Day by holding a cross-learning workshop focused on gender equality and disability inclusion in the Lao PDR.


The workshop was part of a LADLF-led review of gender and disability inclusion across Australian aid investments in Laos. Drawing upon a number of good practice examples from Australia’s aid program, workshop presentations and discussions shed light on the range of approaches used to improve the inclusion of girls, women and people with disabilities in the country’s social and economic development.


Workshop participants included representatives from Oxfam, Plan, CARE, the Gender Development Association, the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Center, the Vocational Development for Lao Blind Association, the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. By bringing together representatives from government, national gender and disability organisations, civil society and the private sector, the event successfully promoted dialogue around strengthening gender equality and disability inclusion in Lao PDR.  

Read more about the LADLF-led review HERE.



A significant step towards developing a centralised and coherent approach to monitor all Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the Lao PDR has been taken with the handover of a new ODA management information system (MIS) between the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and development partners on Wednesday.

DFAT Social Development Specialist, Ms Mia Urbano presented Australia’s initiatives that promote gender equality and disability inclusion in innovative ways at the International Women’s Day 2018 workshop held by the Embassy.

Ms Phatsala Insalong is self-employed operating a t-shirt printing business with 8 staff members. She is one of the 18 participants of a Disability Inclusive Development English language program funded by Australian Aid under the Laos Australia Institute. Her story was presented at the International Women’s Day 2018 workshop held by the Australian Embassy in Laos PDR.

The NGO Consortium funded by the Basic Education Quality Access in Lao PDR (BEQUAL) program provides small grants in target communities to enable out-of-school children to participate in learning activities. A whole of community approach is used to respond to the needs of girls and children with a disability

The population of Lao PDR has low access to formal banking (25% of people save at a bank) and informal savings (by 37% of people). The Access to Finance for the Poor (AFP) program implemented by GIZ and funded by Australia Aid aims to improve financial inclusion of poor households in 6 targeted districts

The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) supports its members by providing capacity building, providing a platform for employers to find skilled workers and seek partnerships to improve private sector engagement. LNCCI is a partner in the World Bank-managed Trade Development Facility II, in which Australia is one of the multiple donors.

The Oxfam Inclusion Project is funded by Australia’s Greater Mekong Water Resource Program to strengthen women capacity and participation in water governance in Mekong region

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