A Case Study of Women Migrant Workers in a Lao Garment FactoryLatdavone KhamphouvongIn 1986, Lao People s Democratic Republic (PDR) put into effect it s New Economic Mechanism (NEM) in its bid for modernization and development. With this national policy came the conversion of a predominantly agricultural and subsistence-based economy into one focused on commodity-driven production. The country s integration into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its signing of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) made official its integration into the regional and internationnal economy. The once state-planned, socialist economy was restructured into an open, liberalized one. One sector that has experienced marked growth is manufacturing, specifically the garment industry, Domestic and foregin-owned garment factories established beginning in the earyl 1990s now have Laos exporting 80% of its garment products to European Union (EU) nations.