|The Viet Nam Women's Union, the World Bank and UN Women officially launched ‘Viet Nam Women's Innovation Day 2013', seeking and supporting initiatives for the economic empowerment of women in the country.—VNS file photo
HA NOI (VNS)– The Viet Nam Women's Union, the World Bank and UN Women officially launched ‘Viet Nam Women's Innovation Day 2013' (VWID 2013) this morning, seeking and supporting initiatives for the economic empowerment of women in the country.
Under the VWID 2013 programme at least 20 awards, each worth a maximum of US$15,000, will be presented to the most innovative and practical proposals submitted in the next three months.
The programme is a combination of the bank's ‘Viet Nam Innovation Day' organised annually since 2003 and the union's ‘Women's Innovation Day' first launched in 2011. The World Bank programme aims identify and fund early stage ideas at grassroots level that exhibit high potential for development impact. Since it began in 2003, it has received nearly 1,600 entries nationwide and granted more than $2.4million to 231 innovative projects.
This year's combined programme, with the theme of economic empowerment, hopes to identify and praise female individuals and organisations for their pioneering ideas, according the Women's Union president Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa.
Accounting for 48.6 per cent of the labour force, Vietnamese women contributed to the development of the national economy, poverty reduction, job creation and technical innovation, she said, adding that women's empowerment was necessary in the fight to achieve gender equality.
The World Bank Country Director Victoria Kwakwa said that this was the first time the bank had co-organised such a programme with two partners, and she expected the co-operation to enhance the impact of this year's event.
Country representative of UN Women in Viet Nam, Suzette Mitchell, said that the programme offered opportunities to identifiy women's initiatives that think outside the box and act beyond existing, predefined parameters and traditional interventions.
"Thus, we can improve the lives of women and girls in Viet Nam and make gender equality a reality," she said, noting that in the country women worked longer hours than men but were paid less, receiving about 85 per cent of the pay given to their male counterparts.
Proposals should be submitted by the end of June and the awards ceremony will be held in October to celebrate Vietnamese Women's Day. -- VNS