|First prize winner Nguyen Vu Xuan Lan explains the meaning of her cartoon at an award ceremony yesterday. — VNS Photo Vuong Bach Lien
HA NOI (VNS) — Young English teacher Nguyen Vu Xuan Lan was awarded the first prize in the 2016 "Gender Equality: Picture It!" cartoon contest at a ceremony at Ha Noi Women's Museum on March 1.
Lan won the jury members' hearts with her cartoon depicting the preference of a recruiter for a man over a woman, even though they may be equally competent.
"Gender inequality is still very common in Viet Nam and some other countries. I hope the situation will improve in the future," Lan said.
The first prize gives Lan the chance to go on a study tour to Belgium, known as the ‘kingdom of comics and cartoons'. Besides tourist visits to Belgian cities, she will meet Belgian Deputy Prime Minister De Croo and several professional artists, and visit international publishing houses.
Nguyen Duy Thanh won the second prize and the Public's Favourite Prize, and Tran Thu Huong won the third prize.
"I am happy that about half of the 116 contest entries were submitted by women. The quality was so high that I thought we would never make a choice! Even without words, the drawings made us laugh, think and cry," Jehanne Roccas, ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, said at the ceremony.
Alain Devaux, director of BTC Vietnam, said, "Art, specifically comics and cartoons, can be powerful tools to raise awareness, promote positive gender norms in the society for the achievement of gender equality and women's empowerment."
The 116 contest entries were sent from all over Viet Nam by Vietnamese nationals of 18 years and above.
This showcased a high interest among Vietnamese citizens. In their drawings, the contestants depicted their understanding of women's status and gender equality in Viet Nam, and highlighted various gender issues such as the increasing imbalance in the sex ratio at birth because of prenatal sex selection in favour of boys, violence against women and gender stereotypes that hinder the full development of women and men.
After an administrative assessment, 81 entries were uploaded to the contest's Facebook page for online voting, attracting more than 10,000 votes. Forty drawings have been shortlisted for a 10-day exhibition in Ha Noi, based on the results of the Facebook voting (50 per cent) and the votes of the jury (50 per cent).
The contest was co-organised by the Embassy of Belgium, the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) in Viet Nam and UN Women Viet Nam.
The contest was first organised in Viet Nam and symbolically held between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women that fell on November 24, 2015, and International Women's Day that falls on March 8, 2016.
The exhibition of the top 40 entries began yesterday and will run till next Thursday at the Women's Museum, located at 36 Ly Thuong Kiet, Ha Noi. — VNS