Gender stereotypes and social prejudices put men under pressure

Ngo Thi Thu Ha, Director of Center for Education Promotion and Empowerment of Women, said that men also struggle because of social and gender expectations regarding each gender's roles, such as being the family's breadwinner of financial support.
Gender stereotypes and social prejudices put men under pressure
Ms. Ngo Thi Thu Ha, Director of the Center for Education Promotion and Empowerment of Women. (Photo: CEPEW)

Achievements in tightening the gender gap in Vietnam

Since the 1930s, programs, constitutions, and several laws in Vietnam have represented the beliefs that "men and women are equal," "equality of men and women," or "gender equality," and "for the growth of women." Women have traditionally been seen by the State and society as a significant force contribution to the nation building, protection, and development.

In 1982, Vietnam was among the first countries in the world to ratify the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Our country has been an active participant in regional and world forums focusing on the rights of women and girls, such as the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing 1995 and other platforms sharing experiences in realizing women's rights.

In the economic field, the labor force participation rate of female workers reached 71.2%. Compared to the global average of 29%, the percentage of women in senior leadership roles in organizations is 33%. Or, 95% of Vietnamese enterprises have at least one female executive (compared to the global average of 87%).

Vietnam also had a female National Assembly Chairwoman in the political realm. And for the first time, a woman led Vietnam's agencies in control of the nation's finances and human resources.

Challenges in the field of promoting gender equality

Some challenges have been mentioned in several conclusions of the Party and State in recent years, such as gender prejudice, the lack of proper attention of the leadership team in charge of human resources and the insufficient funding of national resources for work on gender.

Prejudices and stereotypes have also become a burden to female leaders in business and political systems, not only do they have to work hard to fulfill their roles as a wife, a mother in the family, but also as laborers, leaders in agencies, organizations and communities. Meanwhile, each person's time and health are limited.

Women also have to face gender-based violence. National research published in 2019 showed that two out of three married women in Vietnam have suffered at least one kind of domestic violence.

Sexual harassment in public spaces is a problem that has not received the attention it needs to be resolved permanently. Sanctions on gender-based violence are still regarded as being mild and lacking in deterrence.

Prejudices and stereotypes about each gender's role also make it difficult for men. Men have to struggle for their role as the economic breadwinner of the family. The social expectation that men should be powerful also prevents men from speaking up against gender inequalities, such as violence directed against men.

Gender stereotypes and social prejudices put men under pressure
Gender stereotypes and stereotypes have become a burden for female leaders in business and political systems. (Photo: CEPEW)

Mainstreaming gender into social security policies

Good implementation of social security policies is very important, contributing to economic growth and social stability in Vietnam, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and high inflation on a global scale.

However, integrating gender into these policies requires personnel having strong gender knowledge to enact strong policies based on dependable arguments.

To ensure gender-responsive social security policies, reliable and timely gender-disaggregated statistics are required, so those who advise, evaluate, and approve these policies can make responsible decisions regarding gender.

However, gender-responsive social security policy does not only consider the vulnerability of women, it also considers the vulnerability of all genders. People with disabilities, ethnic minorities, migrants, children, and other oppressed groups should be given more special attention.

The establishment and maintenance of activities of the Committee for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), a part of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Committee on Human Rights (AICHR), is a significant representation of the concerning issue of women and children at the national and regional level in Southeast Asia.

The opportunity to work with experts and organizations in the region shows that representatives of some countries in ACWC and AICHR are very active in proposing initiatives for women's and children's rights. They are open to dialogue and listen to the opinions of experts and NGOs working on gender equality from ASEAN member states.

Digital technology is the method for image marketing

In addition, Ha said that digital technology was indeed a dynamic solution that allows each individual, organization or business to promote and market their image.

The digital environment allows each individual and organization to soon grasp state regulations and study and business opportunities. Thanks to the assistance of the digital environment, Ha would be able to do research without consuming a lot of resources in terms of time, personnel and finances.

With her current job, it gives her the opportunity to learn more about constructive dialogue on social media, how to protect privacy from service providers or how to recognize and overcome scams on the internet.

Being a social worker, Ha has to pay attention to the messages she wants to convey through her social media accounts and protect the confidential information of individuals, organizations and businesses, including her family members.

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(Translated by Thanh Xuan)