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While girls and women in Laos are not the target of strong discriminatory practices, they are at a higher risk of dropping out of school and never attending school. Specific components have been developed within educational policies and strategies to address needs of and concerns for girls and women. Reasons that girls and women lack access to formal and nonformal education are girls' responsibility for domestic chores; in rural villages, parents' concern for daughters' safety if they must walk to a distant school; female dropouts in urban areas who do not see improved job opportunities resulting from education; ethnic groups with a cultural bias against girls acquiring education; ethnic groups in which girls marry at young ages; language barriers; and lack of perception of the relevance of education to girls' and womens' lives. The Ministry of Education has developed the strategy Called Education for All. A number of projects have been designed that address the practical implementation of the Lao government's commitment to improving access to education for girls and women, including Gender Resource and Information Development Project; UNESCO nonformal education projects; and basic education (girls) project. Continuing concerns are lack of suitable jobs, insufficient jobs for girls, and using only the Lao language in education. (Contains 24 references.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Access to Education, Adult Basic Education, Developing Nations, Economic Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Family Influence, Females, Foreign Countries, Illiteracy, Literacy Education, Nonformal Education, Program Design, Program Development, Relevance (Education), Safety, Sex Bias, Sex Fairness, Sex Role, Womens Education

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Autor: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Bangkok Thailand. Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pac


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