United Nation proclaimed March 8 of every year as International Women ‘s Day around the globe. The International Women’s Day is a day to focus on issue of concern to women, as well as to recognize, celebrate, and cherish women’s accomplishments. For instance, until a few years ago, women and younger girls are not allowed to even go to school in many Arab countries, but now they can read and write, and exercise their political rights. Women’s movements have come a long way. Since those early years, United Nation has set a new global dimension to reach out to women in both developed and developing countries.
To honor women on this special occasion, VOA-Lao Diaspora program brings to you an interview with Ms. Bounchanh Senthavong, the new president of LAWA, the Laotian American Women
Association of the Washington DC metropolitan area, about the role and responsibility of Laotian American women in Laotian community. She told VOA that LAWA does not celebrate only on the International Women’s Day, adding, “We celebrate, recognize and help Laotian American women every day. We have many dilemmas; we have our own issue to deal with.
For an example, women, especially those form Southeast Asia countries, who speak very limited English have problems communicating. They can’t communicate with doctors about their health issues; they can’t help nor understand their children’s school problems and home works, they don’t understand the laws of this country and how it is governed, etc… And as an organization, our role is to assist whatever we can to help and reach out to these women and yet maintain and preserve our harmonious Laotian heritage.”
Bounchanh concludes our interview with this thought, “Being a modern or a successful woman in a new society is wonderful, We can be an independent, educated and mindful of what around us, but not to forget where we came from and do not forget our culture. Be humble and be graceful as a true Lao woman should be.”
Listen to audio for more details.