CAN THO — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan yesterday asked local authorities to better women's participation in politics while reviewing a 10-year programme on gender equality and women's advancement.
At a conference on the topic held in the Mekong delta's Can Tho yesterday, Nhan called on the National Committee for the Advancement of Women and the Department for Gender Equality to start implementing projects to improve women's political skills to reach the 2020 targets on the proportion of women in politics.
He said local authorities and election councils would help women candidates improve their campaigning in the upcoming National Assembly and people's council polls.
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thanh Hoa said efforts would be made to increase the rate of women members to 35 per cent in the National Assembly and all people's councils by 2020.
The women rate in Party executive committees at the provincial and district levels would be more than 25 per cent by then, he said.
Ministries, Government agencies, and people's committee at all levels would have female leaders, he added.
But unless efforts get under way soon, it would be difficult to achieve the targets, Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa, deputy chairwoman of the National Committee for the Advancement of Women, warned.
The rate of women in leading positions in State organisations remained low, she said.
The rate of women participating in Party executive committees at the provincial and district levels was under 15 per cent, though it was higher at the commune level, she said.
In the National Assembly, women's representation was less than 30 per cent during the last decade, she said.
It was nearly 24 per cent in people's councils at all levels and 25 per cent in other Government agencies, she said.
The Ministries of Planning and Investment, Foreign Affairs, Culture, Sports and Tourism and agencies like Vi?t Nam Television have not had women bosses in the last 10 years.
Hoa attributed the situation to a lack of co-operation between relevant agencies for drafting plans for the advancement of women in politics.
Other obstacles included the family burden women have to bear and prejudices against their management capacity, she said.
Also, many women themselves did not believe in their capacity, she added.
At the meeting, Nhan hailed the successes in creating jobs for women and providing them access to healthcare services and education in the last decade.
The rate of unemployment among urban women fell to 4.2 per cent in 2010 from 6 per cent in 2005, Nguy?n Th? Thanh Ho added.
Many localities have built vocational training centres for women and held job fairs to enable women to get jobs, she said.
Provinces like Binh Duong, Vinh Long, Tay Ninh, and Quang Nam were very successful in creating jobs for women last year, she said.
In the last decade the literacy rate among women rose by 3.8 per cent to bridge the gap with men, she said.
However, the rate of women graduates has yet to cross 35 per cent, she said, while only 19 per cent received vocational training.
The percentage of pregnant women receiving check-ups three times and above has risen to 70 per cent, she added. — VNS