Vietnam prioritizes bridging gender gap

28/09/2015
Viet Nam commits to mobilizing necessary resources to narrow the gender gap in all fields by 2030, affirmed State President Truong Tan Sang.

The Vietnamese Head of State made the remark at a meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment on the sidelines of the United Nations Summit.
Co-chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the event lured the participation of 70 State Leaders and PMs.
Addressing the meeting, Mr. Sang highlighted the role and contributions of Vietnamese women to national defence and construction. In Viet Nam, women accounted for 48.4% of the labour force, 24% of National Assembly deputies, over 25% of business ownership. Viet Nam always scored high rates in UN gender gap reports.
Viet Nam said the State leader always considers women’s empowerment as the top priority especially through legal building and the National Strategy on Gender Equality.
The State President highlighted that Viet Nam commits to prioritizing necessary resources to bridge gender inequality in all fields and improve the access of women and girls, especially those in disadvantageous areas, to healthcare, education, and employment services, and gradually eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
Finally, he reaffirmed that Viet Nam would stand side by side with the UN and the international community to ensure the rights to equality and empowerment for women across sectors worldwide.
Because of the influence of Confucianism, it was difficult to narrow the gender gap in Vietnam. The 12th National Assembly established Vietnam’s first female parliamentarian group in May, 2008, with the aim of promoting gender equality. The group has been a forum for female parliamentarians to share information and voice their opinions on policies concerning women, children, and gender equality. A number of policies have been adopted in consideration of gender equality such as increasing maternity leave from 4 to 6 months and giving men paternity leave. Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, a deputy from Ho Chi Minh city, said: “Many female deputies have spoken of the aspirations of female voters. Their ideas have contributed significantly to many important decisions of the National Assembly.”
Vietnamese female parliamentarians have been actively involved in regional and global activities to promote gender equality, such as the annual conferences of female parliamentarians of the ASEAN Inter-parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Truong Thi Mai, Head of the National Assembly’s Committee for Social Affairs, said: “Topics for discussion and recommendations at these forums have targeted sustainable growth, human rights, equal opportunities for women and girls, and empowering women to participate in all aspects of life. Vietnam’s participation at these forums has aimed at enhancing the role of women in parliaments and international organizations and promoting cooperation among female parliamentarians.”
Vietnam is one of the 5 developing nations in Asia with the highest proportion of female parliamentarians. Its National Assembly has made significant contributions to promoting gender equality. At a recent meeting with female leaders of Vietnamese and foreign organizations attending IPU 132, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said gender equality has been included in Vietnam’s constitution, law, and policies. He added that an increasing number of women have assumed important positions in the Party, State, and National Assembly: “After many years of struggling for national independence, more than any one, Vietnamese people are as aware as anyone that gender equality is one of the most important measure of a nation’s development. Vietnam supports every effort to build an equal society for all.”
A number of workshops on gender equality will be held on the sidelines of IPU 132 including "Achieving the vision of Beijing: The views of men" and "Consultation on the updated Global Strategy for women's, children's and adolescents' health", as well as a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians./.

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