Vietnamese women exemplify spirit of international integration

WVR - Amidst the country’s overall integration process, the international integration activities of the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) have been continuously strengthened, innovated, and greatly enhanced.
Hội thảo “Lãnh đạo nữ truyền cảm hứng” với các thành viên mạng lưới tại Nghệ An. (Nguồn: Hội LHPN Việt Nam)
Delegates at the "Inspiring Women Leaders" workshop in Nghe An province. (Photo: Vietnam Women’s Union)

In its role of gathering and leading the nationwide women’s movement, the VWU has learned and flexibly applied international knowledge and experiences that are suitable for Viet Nam’s circumstances.

Prominent examples include microfinance lessons from the Grameen Bank, which has become a pioneering organization nationwide in microfinance, enhancing the economic empowerment and status of women; the Peace House model (with support from the United Nations and organizations from Spain, the Netherlands, etc.) has become a model for temporary shelter and comprehensive assistance for gender-based violence victims.

Keeping pace with global trends

Identifying external affairs and international cooperation as one of the important tasks, in recent times, the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) has proactively mobilized international resources from various sources: governmental organizations, United Nations (UN) organizations, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists, etc.

During the period of 2017-2022, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Women’s Union has mobilized over 9.5 million USD worth of aid. At the same time, when implementing international programs and projects, the capacity and qualifications of union officials and women at all levels have been significantly enhanced, including language, computer and management skills.

It is necessary to mention the training programs supported by international cooperation such as the cooperation program with Australia, where nearly 60 union officials and female officials from various departments have been trained in Australia and Viet Nam since 2008.

With the support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), seven union officials participated in the EWHA-KOICA Master’s training program in Republic of Korea. In addition, union officials have also participated in training courses in Viet Nam and abroad under Project 165.

The Women’s Union has also hosted many large international conferences and seminars, such as the Viet Nam – Republic of Korea Women’s Forum, which has become a trademark of the Union over the past 10 years.

These events often gather high-level leaders, policy makers, and experienced experts in various fields such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), digital transformation, women, peace and security, cyber-security, etc. Thus, the Union has become a meeting point for partners at home and abroad with mutual interests in women’s issues and development.

Especially, international cooperation activities are increasingly expanding. The Union has welcomed many heads of state, leaders’ spouses of other countries, received foreign students, volunteers, and carried out diverse international cooperation models in the community, such as the “Second Mother” program supporting students from Laos, Cambodia studying in Viet Nam. The Union is also awarded the Emulation Flag of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Affairs as “Collective Leading in People’s External Affairs Work in 2023.”

Vice President of the Vietnam Women’s Union Tran Lan Phuong emphasized that in the context of significant global changes, international conferences on women and development also have many new factors. Therefore, the Union has closely followed Viet Nam’s policy of multilateralism and diversification in implementing external affairs activities.

She affirmed: “The Union has actively studied and grasped new trends in international conferences on women and development to flexibly, innovatively, and appropriately apply them to women’s work, women’s movements, as well as the socio-economic development situation of our country, laying the groundwork for building a positive and favorable social foundation for Viet Nam’s relations with other countries.”

Focusing on supporting women’s integration

Especially since 2021, recognizing the importance of international integration and the demands placed on women in the new situation, the Central Executive Committee of the Vietnam Women’s Union has issued Resolution No. 18 on supporting women’s international integration until 2030.

The Resolution provides guidance on external affairs activities and support for women’s international integration within the Union’s system, while also creating conditions for Union levels to propose mechanisms and resources for related activities.

Aiming to enhance awareness and capacity for international integration of Union officials, members, and women to contribute to the country’s overall integration process, the Central Union also guides and directs Provincial Women’s Unions to further strengthen international integration activities and models.

These are models built based on traditional Union activities or clubs but supplemented with international elements or specific content necessary for women during the international integration process.

The existing programs and projects of both central and local authorities are also required to supplement and integrate activities supporting women’s international integration, such as integration on environmental issues, ensuring cyber-security, female leadership in the context of international integration, etc.

Notably, the Central Vietnam Women’s Union has piloted the establishment of the “Women’s International Integration Club on the Internet Environment” in three communes and wards in Ha Tinh province; organized numerous training sessions on the application of science and technology for ethnic minority women’s groups, e-commerce, comprehensive finance, tourism, and digital technology applications in business, linked to international integration, for the Women’s Union of 63 provinces and cities; organized capacity-building training activities for female officials in ethnic minority areas and mountainous regions on people’s diplomacy and international integration in three regions under Project 8; organized activities to promote the roles of women and girls in STEM (STEM Forum with UN Women, “Mother and Child with STEM” event in Hung Yen), etc.

Currently, some provincial Women’s Unions have developed models to support women’s international integration in areas such as the “Women’s Border Protection Club,” the “Women’s International Integration Club on the Environment.” It can be said that these highly applicable models have helped provide the necessary knowledge and skills for local female leaders and grassroots women during the international integration process.

Các thành viên Câu lạc bộ “Hội nhập quốc tế phụ nữ về môi trường” tỉnh Quảng Bình tham gia tập huấn, tháng 9/2022. (Nguồn: Hội LHPN Việt Nam)
Members of the “International Integration of Women on Environment” Club in Quang Binh province participating in training, September 2022. (Photo: Vietnam Women’s Union)

Identified international integration as an urgent and strategic task

In the coming time, the Vietnam Women’s Union will continue to implement activities in the fields of cultural diplomacy, economy, and politics. Especially, the implementation of Resolution 18 on supporting women’s international integration is identified as an urgent and strategic task.

Accordingly, all levels of the Union will continue to invest in external affairs and international integration, contributing to creating a favorable environment for women to actively integrate and properly benefit from the country’s integration process.

In the context of the rapid development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this work has been continuously adjusted and incorporated new factors to aim at supporting women to be proactive, seizing opportunities, and minimizing risks in the international integration process.

Vice President of the Vietnam Women’s Union, Tran Lan Phuong, also emphasized: “We will continue to closely follow the Party’s and State’s foreign policy orientation, focusing on researching and proactively grasping new issues related to women and development in international forums, as well as trends in women’s movements worldwide; while seizing opportunities and favorable factors domestically to enhance international cooperation on gender equality, improve the effectiveness of external affairs, and support women’s international integration.”

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