Call for Stories: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives in Lao PDR

Call for Stories: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives in Lao PDR

Theme: ‘Time is now: rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives’
Deadline: 25 March 2018
Open to: Journalists, reporters, journalism school students from Lao PDR 


On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2018, UNESCO Bangkok is launching a call for journalists and journalism school students in Lao PDR to help us shine a light on rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.

The authors of three stories selected by a UNESCO panel will have their stories published on the UNESCO Bangkok website and be invited to participate in the celebration of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May in Bangkok. (UNESCO will cover costs for travel, accommodation and meals for the participants). 

For UNESCO, gender equality is a human rights principle, a precondition for sustainable, people-centered development, and a goal in and of itself. By spotlighting these stories, UNESCO aims to raise awareness on gender equality as well as promote the visibility and celebrate the voices of women in media. The contest’s theme is in keeping with that of this year’s International Women’s Day celebration, “Time is now: rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”. 

Lao PDR ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981. According to UN Women, “the primary challenges to gender equality in Laos are in enabling equal access for women and girls to opportunities and resources, particularly for rural and marginalized women. Illiteracy, poor reproductive and basic health, food insecurity and economic disenfranchisement rank high among development priorities for women.” 

Women occupy key roles in Lao society, however these are mostly in the informal sector, and their roles often go unrecognized. 

International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and accelerate the global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice around the world. 

Submission details: 

Stories should meet the following requirements:

  • The article should be written in English or Lao; English submissions should be between 400 and 800 words
  • Choose a particular and unique story reflecting the theme, illustrating rural and/or urban activists transforming women’s lives in Lao PDR. These could feature women or men who work to help women claim their rights/realize their full potential, those who work for equal access to opportunities and resources for both women and men. 
  • You are free to write the story the way you want: you can decide to write an article, a personality profile, a dialogue, a poem, or to tell a story. Be creative; write an easy-to-read story to bring attention to women’s lives in Lao PDR.

All applications and stories should be submitted before the deadline of 25 March to with full contact details of the author at or online here.  

Please contact UNESCO Bangkok with any questions at