Gender related inequalities are a key barrier to improving nutrition and health care practices. Women require not only the capacity to take action to improve their and their children’s nutritional status, but also the support of their partners, family and the community at large to do so. This is recognised as part of the NNS and NNSAP. To transform gender relations, increase joint decision making by men and women, and foster women’s leadership, SCALING is facilitating three training workshops on women workload reduction, gender negotiation and women’s leadership skills in close cooperation with the Lao Women’s Union (LWU). In addition, Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) for women are developed in selected villages to strengthen economic empowerment.
The overall objectives: Gender norms enable improved care and feeding practices, women’s decision-making, reduced workload, and control over resources and health
- Specific objective1: To conduct women’s empowerment training workshops to transform gender relations, increase joint decision making by men and women, and foster women’s leadership
- Specific objective2: To conduct women’s workload and women workload reduction discussion help women to understand their workload burden
Specific objective3: To support women groups in forming and facilitating Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) in the target villages
- 12,660 couples, and 8240 women trained in 422 villages: Men and women sharing responsibility for improving women’s and children’s nutrition; women’s increased engagement in community leadership
- 211 VSLAs set up in 4 provinces with an estimated 4,220 members
Facts and Figures:
- 8,228 women and 1,392 couples in 228 villages have participated in Women Workload Reduction training
- 293 women have attended the women leadership skills training
- 91 VSLA have been formed and functioning on regular basis
Case Study Ms. Pelu attends WWR training
Ms. Pelu, 25 years old, lives in Houaysoung village, Boun Neua district, Phongsaly province. She is from the Akha ethnic group and is married with three children (two girls and one little boy). Every day she has to get up early in the morning to do household chores such as cooking breakfast, feeding the family’s animals and taking care of the children. To earn a living, she spends most of her time working in the sugar cane and rubber plantations – especially during cropping and harvest seasons. Over the past six months, Ms. Pelu has had the opportunity to attend a Women Workload Reduction (WWR) training in her village.
“After the training, I shared some knowledge with my husband about sharing the workload. Since then, I have observed my husband helping me with household chores. For example, when I am busy cooking or preparing food for our breakfast, he helps with feeding the pigs and chicken. He also helps look after the children for me. At the moment I still have little children, so my husband sets me the lighter tasks of weeding the sugar cane and he works longer hours gathering rubber product from the plantation, which is considered to be harder and heavier work.” She also says: “In the future I would like to see more men support their wives in sharing the workload and involve more women in decision-making, family consultations and family planning. My dream is to see my children complete secondary school and go for higher education in vocational college or university. After graduation I would like to see them have a different and better job than what I have.”
Ministry of Health (MOH), Provincial Health Office (PHO), District Health Office (DHO), Save the Children International (SCI), CARE, ChildFund (CFL) and Comité de Coopération avec le Laos (CCL)