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The Asia Foundation Signs MOU with Lao Women’s Union

Vientiane, January 12, 2010 — Read this press release in the Lao language.

At a ceremony held today in Vientiane, The Asia Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Lao Women’s Union (LWU). The new agreement will allow The Asia Foundation to expand programs that ensure women’s rights and personal security, increase women’s participation in public life, and advance women’s economic opportunities. For over two decades, The Asia Foundation has formed valuable, long-standing relationships with Lao government bodies and local organizations.

“On this important occasion, The Asia Foundation is pleased to reaffirm its commitment to the Lao people and the Lao Women’s Union in their dedicated work to improve social and economic opportunities for women and society as a whole,” said Ms. Gretchen A. Kunze, Laos Country Director for The Asia Foundation. “We look forward to the opportunity to continue our partnership with the Lao Women’s Union and government of the Lao PDR in shared efforts to support development and growth for the entire nation.”

For 20 years, the Foundation has partnered with Lao Women’s Union to implement activities promoting gender equality and the prevention of human trafficking and violence toward women. For instance, in 1995, The Asia Foundation provided financial support to LWU representatives to participate in the Women’s World Conference held in Beijing. In 2003, the Foundation supported the LWU in drafting the Law on Development and Protection of Women, including carrying out a survey on domestic violence to provide data. More recently, the Foundation contributed funds for the construction of a Counseling and Protection Center for Women and Children, as well as technical support for training and upgrading legal knowledge of LWU staff. In addition, The Asia Foundation supported leadership skills training for women political leaders.

Read more about The Asia Foundation’s programs in Laos.

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