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21-22 October 2019, Vientiane, Lao PDR– The Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) alongside the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), with funding support from the Government of Canada through the Mission of Canada to ASEAN, and the Clearing for Results Project Cambodia, are pleased to launch the Regional Workshop on “Gender Equality and Empowerment in ASEAN Mine/Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Action”.
Held over two days, the Regional Workshop gathers together all 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS), including those both affected and non-affected by landmines, unexploded ordinance or ERW, to share methods on how to include gender approaches and perspectives into their national mine/ERW action activities. Crucially, the Workshop is designed to enable the participants to analyse their work in mine/ERW action through a gender and diversity lens, assessing how mine/ERW action projects and programmes are implemented with a consideration of gender aspects, and making sure that the priorities and capabilities of women, girls, boys, men and diverse groups are highlighted, and their needs are met.
Leading an essential component of the Regional Workshop, the GICHD emphasised that such events are crucial for the mine/ERW action sector as “with increased gender and diversity awareness and knowledge acquired through information-sharing events and other outreach activities, mine/ERW action operators will hopefully have the capacity and the will to effectively mainstream gender and diversity into their planning and activities.”
Beyond offering the AMS capacity building on gender mainstreaming in mine/ERW action (including some other relevant activities), the Regional Workshop also provides a platform for ASEAN countries to share their experiences, best practices and lessons learnt on integrating gender into their work.
Speaking at the event, Ms. Dwi Prameswari, Technical Officer for Mine Action at ARMAC, reiterated that “the Regional Workshop affords an opportunity to bring greater attention to the importance of gender and diversity aspects in mine/ERW action and other relevant programmes. By considering the inclusiveness of gender, the community will benefit from greater impacts and increased sustainability in future programmes. Further, as the Workshop achieved a gender balance in participants, it was encouraging to see both men and women from the ASEAN Member States sharing their knowledge, expertise and experience, and learning from each other on how to optimise gender mainstreaming in mine/ERW action.”
Funding the Regional Workshop through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives for the second time, the Mission of Canada to ASEAN emphasizes Canada’s commitment in developing and implementing gender-responsive approach towards mine action, as it is aligned with Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) for the period 2017-2022. Canada supports mine action as part of its international development assistance and remains firmly committed to advancing the goals of the Ottawa Convention (Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention) and to achieving a world free of landmines by 2025.