Women in Lao People's Democratic Republic continue to face challenges from low political participation, discriminatory traditions, gender-based violence, and human trafficking. Lao PDR consists of a communist regime and has 49 official ethnicities. Lao PDR ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981 and is ranked 64 out of 144 listed countries in the 2017 Global Gender Gap Index (GGI). Laos has not signed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). There is no data on military expenditures. During the 2017 October Security Council Open Debate, Lao PDR did not make any statements affirming support for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Although Lao PDR has a relatively high number of women in political positions, greater public participation by women is required to implement gender equality in all areas of society.