"He will kill me if I leave him" - Violence against women in Lao PDR.

Stream: Legal and Policy Responses to Violence against Women
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Time: 3.15 pm – 5.00 pm


“A woman without a husband is like a ring without diamond”, This Laotian proverb demonstrates the high value that is being placed on marriage, and consequently the pressure on couples to stay together if the relationship is in trouble. Until recently little was known about violence against women (VAW) in Laos, and there was real need for evidence to inform policy directions that are planned or in process. To address this lack of data, the Lao National Commission for the Advancement of Women in collaboration with the Lao Statistics Bureau, with support from UNFPA and UNWOMEN conducted a study in 2013-2014 using the methods that where developed for the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. Results will be known by the end of 2014 and will show prevalence and patterns of different types of VAW as well as intergenerational aspects of violence, consequences, services that women do and do not use and why. Qualitative research will explore how women experience violence in their own words, as well as perceptions on VAW of relevant stakeholders, and men and women from different backgrounds*. We will present and discuss how the results will be used to inform policy and action.


Chansoda Phonethip (Presenter), National Commission for the Advancement of Women
Ms Phonethip is Director General of the Lao PDR National Commission for the Advancement of Women (NCAW) Secretariat. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field of gender and women’s empowerment. She graduated in the field of communication and started her work with the Lao Women Union before becoming the Deputy Director of NCAW Secretariat in 2003. She has led the development of the National Strategy on the Advancement of Women, CEDAW and Beijing Programme of Action review and reporting.

Thirakha Chanthalanouvong (Presenter), Lao Statistics Bureau
Ms. Chanthalanouvong is Deputy Director General of the Lao Statistics Bureau. She has an extensive technical and management career at the Lao Statistics Bureau in the field of social statistics including population and housing census, demographic health survey and gender statistics. She graduated from the Australian National University with a master degree in demography.

Tomoko Honda (Presenter), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Dr. Tomoko Honda is Adjunct Research Fellow at Monash University. She has a background in medical social work and global health in international development context. Her research interest lies in reproductive health and rights, and gender mainstreaming in health policy and practice. She has conducted a number of studies in Asian and African regions for multilateral and bilateral donors. She is skilled at incorporating various methods of field research in quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis and documentation. Her most current research focuses on the Violence Against Women (VAW) / Gender Based Violence (GBV) and associated mental health consequences.

Christi Lane-Barlow (Presenter), Burnet Institute, Lao PDR
Mrs. Lane-Barlow is the Country Representative of Burnet Institute in Lao PDR. An epidemiologist with extensive experience in health research in SE Asia, South Africa, Central America, Canada and the US, she has a Masters (Epidemiology) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and an Honours in Pharmacology (University of Western Ontario, Canada). She has recently completed a situational analysis of youth and adolescents in Lao PDR, in partnership with the Lao Youth Union, and supported by UNFPA. Burnet is the research partner responsible for conducting the qualitative assessment of VAW in Lao PDR.

Henrica Jansen (Presenter), UNFPA Asia and Pacific Regional Office, Bangkok, Thailand
Dr. Henrica (Henriette) Jansen has 30+ years work experience working for the UN, governments and NGOs and a background in biology, medicine, epidemiology and medical demography. Unique is her worldwide experience as researcher, advisor, trainer and lecturer on ethical research and data collection on VAW. Current work include support to VAW studies in Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean (UNFPA, UNWomen, WHO). She was team leader for the National VAW Research in Turkey (2008-2009, HUIPS/KSGM/EU) and VietNam (2009-2010, WHO/GSO). During 1999-2007, she was member of the Core Research Team for WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence.