Ethnic women enhance legal knowledge and engage in law and policy development and implementation

Grantee Organisation: Centre for Legal Research and Services (LERES)

Project Location: Tan Lac District, Hoa Binh Province

Project Duration: December 2013 - November 2014

The problem: There is little involvement of women, especially women of ethnic minorities in the process of law and policy development and implementation. One of the reasons is because they are not aware of their rights – many Muong ethnic women in Hoa Binh are used to their old customs that tasked only men with social activities, they also have limited access to information as these ethnic minority communities live in mountainous areas. Another important reason is that local officials have limited knowledge about people’s rights to participate as well as limited capacities and conditions to allow people’s participation.

The solution:

  • Improving legal knowledge and practical capacities for Women’s Union members and ethnic minority women through training and dissemination of communication materials on the right to participation and skills for exercising such rights
  • Using the Law on Marriage and Family as a practical ground for Muong women to exercise their right to participate in developing and implementing policies and legislation, and to collect their opinions and recommendations to the draft law
  • Establishing two Livelihood and Rights Clubs for Muong women to meet monthly to share legal information and knowledge, and enhance their participation


  • Muong women became well aware of, and exercised their right to participate in laws and policies formulation processes. By participating in the legal club activities, they can share and learn from each other about laws and feel more confident to share what they learnt with their family members and the wider community
  • Members of the Women’s Union at all levels understand the right of people’s participation and have been able to mobilise ethnic minority women to contribute to the legislative formulation, particularly the Law on Marriage and Family
  • The authorities in Tan Lac District have a higher sense of accountability to the people in the formulation and execution of laws


 "Since we’ve started this club model, we feel more confident and unafraid of sharing legal knowledge. We are also keen to share such knowledge with the community and discuss with them so other people can understand and also gain knowledge about law development."

Bui Thi Ban, Women Union Chairwoman, Phong Phu Commune

"Since I joined, I understand many things, for example [in the Law on Marriage and Family] firstly on surrogate pregnancy, secondly on same-sex marriage, and thirdly on marriage before the right age."

 Bui Thi Thu, Luy Village, Phong Phu Commune