The Situation of Women Market Vendors in Vientiane: A Baseline Report for UN WOMEN by Rapid Asia

Authors/editor(s): Rapid Asia with support from UN Women –

In markets across Lao People’s Democratic Republic, market management committee representatives consist of officials from relevant government agencies and market owners, with no market vendors. This leaves women vendors without a voice in decisions made or implemented by the committee. They also lack information about existing assistance and support functions. Most women interviewed had never received any assistance from any organization.

Providing capacity-building to women market vendors on necessary skills that respond to their needs is crucial to improve their businesses. Particular emphasis might be placed on women street vendors, who tend to be the most vulnerable of all vendors, with risks including being arrested by the police or district tax officials. Helping them secure proper spaces to sell their products would be an important starting point. UN Women may consider working with the market management committees, market owners and village authorities to support women street vendors by granting permission for them to sell their products in the markets, or providing special conditions such as lower market fees or special permits during certain hours of the day.

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