The Women’s Lives Project – Documenting the Lives of Rural Women in the Uplands of Laos – was designed by the Lao Upland Rural Advisory Services (LURAS) with the aim of learning more about how rural women live so that we can develop new approaches to rural development and provide women with the advisory services they need.
For 12 months we followed the lives of nine rural women living in Xieng Khouang province. They told us about their lives and issues affecting them. Through the resulting videos, viewers can see how rural women try to solve the typical problems they face, and how different seasons affect their livelihoods, workloads and diets. The films also capture personal stories and portray women as diverse actors in development.
During the project the LURAS videographer made regular visits to Houay Len, Na Uoo and Sandonkor villages. These three villages were selected because their inhabitants represent different ethnic groups, and because they are surrounded by different environments (flora and fauna) that have influenced villagers’ choice of livelihood strategies. Furthermore, the women represent different socio-economic classes.
The Lao Uplands Rural Advisory Service (LURAS) project supports multiple actors, including government, the private sector, and rural people themselves through organisational development and training and information services that help farmers to understand and adjust to on-going changes in the Lao agricultural sector. The goal is to increase agricultural productivity, facilitate fair market engagement, increase food security, and support the development of smallholder agriculture in a way that secures the future wellbeing of upland farming families.
The Women’s Lives videos were filmed and edited by Ye Vue. The following people were also involved in implementing and advising the project: Souknida Yongchialorsautouky, Viengmany Lornaotu, Phonepaseuth Phaphoungeun, Philavanh Thammavone, Kaolor Yong Por, Khamla Inmieugxay, Rakounna Sisaleumsak, Chintanaphone Keovichith, Andrew Bartlett, and Douglas Varchol.
The Women’s Lives Project – Documenting the Lives of Rural Women in the Uplands of Laos project – is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).