UN Women to accompany Viet Nam in fostering transformation

WVR - “UN Women’s multifaceted approach underscores its commitment to creating a more inclusive and equal society in Viet Nam”, Ms. Caroline Nyamayemombe, Head of UN Women Office in Viet Nam emphasized.
Phó Chủ tịch Hội LHPN Việt Nam Trần Lan Phương tiếp  bà Caroline T. Nyamayemombe, ngày 8/8/2023. (Nguồn: Hội LHPN Việt Nam)
Vice President of the Vietnam Women’s Union Tran Lan Phuong received Ms. Caroline T. Nyamayemombe on August 8, 2023. (Photo: VWU)

Viet Nam is one of the earliest countries to complete the Millennium Goals on gender equality and women’s empowerment and is currently making efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in which has goals of promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. How do you evaluate Viet Nam’s efforts to promote gender equality in recent years?

The Government of Viet Nam has maintained its momentum on advancing gender equality. Since adopting the SDGs we have seen Viet Nam’s world ranking on gender equality increasing from 83rd to 72nd out of 146 countries (2023, World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index). Four notable improvements since adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals:

The first, Viet Nam has continued to strengthen its policy and legal framework on gender equality. For instance: Law supporting SME (2017); A National GBV Strategy and Programme 2021-2030); Amendments to the Domestic Violence and Protection law (2022); The Labour Code amendment (2019) and recently the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

The second one is Women’s political participation. In the 2021 election, the proportion of female deputies in the National Assembly increased to 30% - the highest since 1976, higher than the global average of 25%.

The third one is women’s labour force participation. It is almost as high as men’s (72 per cent for women compared to 82 for men).

Fourthly, Viet Nam is surpassing set target of female participation in peacekeeping operations contribution.

Recently, Viet Nam has made strong commitments to the United Nations Women, Peace and Security Agenda. How do you evaluate these efforts of the country?

Viet Nam firmly supports multilateral cooperation and has demonstrated this as a member of the United Nations and within ASEAN.

On January 25, 2024, the Prime Minister approved the first National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security. This milestone not only signifies the acknowledgment of the crucial role women play in achieving sustainable peace but also underscores Viet Nam’s unwavering commitment to upholding principles of gender equality on the global stage. It reflects a robust partnership between Viet Nam and the international community, fostering a more inclusive and gender-sensitive approach to peace and security.

The women from Viet Nam involved in peacekeeping operations bring diverse perspectives and invaluable skills to the missions.

I have had the privilege of meeting 3 Vietnamese female peacekeeping officers and I have been inspired by their stories of courage and resilience. I have also admired how they easily connected with people in my own continent, Africa, when they served in Central Africa Republic and South Sudan. This helps to build the confidence of women in host countries to participate in building peace in their countries.

At a time when the world is in turmoil, the Secretary General of the United Nations has called for more women leaders to be at the centre of peace negotiations and peace building efforts. Viet Nam’s actions are aligning well to this call.

“Together, as we invest in ourselves and harness our leadership, we accelerate progress not just for women but for the entire nation”.

Accompanying Viet Nam in its steps to ensure the rights of women and girls, what key projects is UN Women implementing in the country?

As the leading United Nations agency for gender equality and the empowerment of women, UN Women has worked in Viet Nam for 14 years. Working in collaboration with the Government of Viet Nam, UN Women is committed to ensuring Viet Nam achieves its vision of becoming a high income country by 2045 and with net zero emissions by 2050, while fulfilling its obligations to eliminate discrimination against women and girls, advancing women’s rights, and promoting equality among all genders.

UN Women’s Strategy for 2022-2026 is fully aligned with the Viet Nam - United Nations Cooperation Framework (2022-2026) across three priorities: (i) Sustainable and gender responsive inclusive economic transformation; (ii) Improved governance, more responsive institutions, strengthened rule of law and the protection of and respect for human rights, gender equality, and freedom from all forms of violence and discrimination in line with international standards; (iii) Climate change, disaster risk reduction and resilience building, promotion of circular economy, the provision of clean and renewable energy, and the sustainable management of natural resources.

UN Women collaborates with ministries, departments, social organizations, private sector and development cooperation partners. UN Women’s programme in Viet Nam includes:

The first one is national reviews of the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action on Gender Equality, and updating the Gender Equality Law.

The second one is the recent approval of the first National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security highlights the tireless work of UN Women in Viet Nam. Their dedicated support throughout the NAP development process brought together international resources and expertise to assist the country in achieving this significant milestone. UN Women will continue supporting Viet Nam to further advance the implementation of the NAP.

The third one is addressing gender-based violence by providing technical support to enhance essential services for survivors, ensuring alignment with global standards and a commitment to leaving no one behind. The fourth one is enhancing women’s economic rights and leadership in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and private sector field. UN Women advises on appropriate planning and resource allocation for the promotion of gender equality at the national level.

Additionally, UN Women conducts communication campaigns and activities aimed at challenging gender stereotypes. The goal is to empower all individuals, irrespective of gender, to reach their full potential. UN Women’s multifaceted approach underscores its commitment to creating a more inclusive and equal society in Viet Nam.

Bộ Ngoại giao và UN Women phối hợp tổ chức Hội thảo tham vấn quốc gia về xây dựng kế hoạch hành động quốc gia về phụ nữ, hòa bình và an ninh tại Hà Nội vào ngày 6/11/2023. (Nguồn: TTXVN)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UN Women jointly held a national consultation workshop on the development of a national action plan on women, peace and security in Ha Noi on November 6, 2023. (Photo: VNA)

On the occasion of the 114th anniversary of International Women’s Day (March 8), what messages do you want to send to Vietnamese women?

On this special occasion, I extend heartfelt wishes to each of you. Today is a celebration of your incredible strength, resilience, and remarkable achievements.

This year’s theme, “Invest in women - Accelerate progress” resonates deeply with our shared aspirations for a brighter future. Therefore, I encourage you to embrace the following messages:

Let’s commit to investing in ourselves: Whether it’s pursuing further education, exploring new skills, or seeking mentorship, let’s empower ourselves for personal and professional growth. Your development not only enhances your individual potential but also contributes to the collective progress of our community.

Use your leadership to bring transformation: Women have the power to drive positive change. I urge you to leverage your leadership skills to catalyze transformation at home, in the workplace, and for our beloved country. Our analysis demonstrates that when more women lead, companies thrive and society advances. Your leadership is a force for progress.

Together, as we invest in ourselves and harness our leadership, we accelerate progress not just for women but for the entire nation. Happy International Women’s Day!

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