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Women's Union Establishment Day – July 20, 2023

People in Laos celebrate the Women’s Union Establishment Day annually on July 20. This is one of the most important official national holidays in the country and carries more significance nowadays in the context of the growing international movement for equal rights for women. The story behind this holiday, and why it’s so widely celebrated in Laos, is one of the long struggles that eventually granted women their rights, and promoted more favorable policies for women. Until today, this national holiday is a symbol of the plight of women and how this can be changed.

History of Women's Union Establishment Day

Although Laos is not a wealthy country, it has managed to adopt some progressive policies early on in the 20th century. This highlights the significance of the Women’s Union Establishment Day, which has been celebrated in the country for at least several decades. The holiday celebrates the founding of the Lao Women’s Union, which is today one of the strongest institutions in the country.

The Lao Women’s Union was founded on July 20, 1955. Throughout the following decades, the Lao Women’s Union played a key role in promoting the inclusion of women in business, politics, and other areas. Other than the initiatives aimed at raising awareness regarding the issue, the Union helped pave the way for many public policies that are more favorable to women. From amending women’s rights to equal rights with men, to access to education, and social welfare, the Lao Women’s Union served as the main guardian of the rights and the status of women in the country.

The Lao Women’s Union held its first national congress in 1984. This is a significant moment in the Union’s history, as it helped unify its efforts, and saw devising the principal plans for the Union’s future projects. The Union has been holding a national congress every five to seven years. Currently, the Lao Women’s Union has a membership of over one million, making it one of the strongest social and political organizations in the country.

Women's Union Establishment Day timeline

1955
Lao Patriotic Women’s Association

The women’s union was initially founded as the Lao Patriotic Women’s Association, a leading political organization at the time.

1965
Lao Women’s Union

The Women’s Union changes its name to the Lao Women’s Union.

1984
First Congress

The Lao Women’s Union organizes its first national congress, marking a major turning point in the Union’s history.

2012
A Million Members

The Lao Women’s Union expands and reaches a membership of a million, becoming one of the strongest institutions in the country.

Women's Union Establishment Day FAQs

What language is spoken in Laos?

The Lao language is the official language of Laos. It is a traditionally spoken language in many parts of the country.

Is there gender equality in Laos?

The situation in Laos is still challenging concerning women, with a gender inequality index value of 0.4.

What are the main human rights issues in Laos?

The main human rights issues in Laos, especially during the last few years, include forced detention and political prisoners.

How to Observe Women's Union Establishment Day

  1. Read about the country’s history

    To truly understand the importance of this celebration and what it means for the women of Laos, it is essential to understand its historical role. More specifically, in terms of the role it played in building the modern nation of Laos.

  2. Donate or volunteer

    This celebrates women’s rights and welfare around the world. Donate or volunteer with women’s associations in your area. This can be the best way to show support, as well as being a fun and rewarding experience.

  3. Visit local communities

    If there are any Laotian communities in your area, make sure to visit them. You can celebrate this annual observance, and learn much more about the Union and its importance.

5 Interesting Facts About Laos

  1. Elephants

    Laos is known as the “land of a million elephants,” because of the country’s massive pastures, where elephants used to dwell.

  2. Coffee

    Coffee is the country’s biggest export, as Laos offers the best conditions for growing coffee beans, and is one of the world’s top producers of coffee beans.

  3. Melting pot

    Laos is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world, with over 60 ethnic groups inhabiting the country.

  4. Oldest in Southeast Asia

    Laos is home to the oldest human fossil found in Southeast Asia, making it a home to one of the earliest societies in history.

  5. Landlocked

    Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, which is rather odd in this region.

Why Women's Union Establishment Day is Important

  1. One of the strongest women’s unions

    The Lao Women’s Union is not only one of the strongest political institutions in Laos, but also one of the strongest women’s organizations in the world. It is a shining beacon for women’s associations around the world.

  2. Status of women in a society

    The importance that the Lao Women’s Union signifies in the country is indicative of the status of women in society. Despite the various challenges still facing women, the Lao Women’s Union is an important advocate of women’s welfare.

  3. Significant part of a nation’s history

    As one of the strongest political entities in the country, the Lao Women’s Union played a significant role in the building of the country’s modern political system. The annual celebration commemorating its founding is a testament to its significance.

Women's Union Establishment Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 20Thursday
2024July 20Saturday
2025July 20Sunday
2026July 20Monday
2027July 20Tuesday

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