Gender gap closes, inequality remains
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam still faces obstacles in implementing the gender equality and domestic violence laws and ending domestic violence against females, officials stressed at a dialogue yesterday.
They in the meantime also noted that Viet Nam is one of the leading countries in Southeast Asia in the endeavour to close the gap between men and women.
Addressing participants, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen reaffirmed the government's commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment through implementing gender equality policies and programmes.
Five years after implementing the Gender Equality Law, Viet Nam has made impressive progress towards eliminating the gender gap.
|Five years after implementing the Gender Equality Law, Viet Nam has made impressive progress towards eliminating the gender gap. — Illustrative image
In 2012, Viet Nam ranked 44th in the world on this issue. The country's Parliament is 24.4 per cent female; additionally, 40 per cent of the ministries and leading government agencies have women in the top positions, and a growing number of women are serving as leaders in provincial governments.
The 2012 Global Gender Gap Index – which examines the gap between men and women in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment - ranks Viet Nam 66th, below only the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore in Southeast Asia.
However, gender inequality continues to persist in all areas and sectors, especially in rural, mountainous areas dominated by ethnic minorities who have limited access to jobs and education, Chuyen said.
UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam Pratibha Mehta said billions of dollars are spent on extra health costs and lost productivity as a result of gender-based violence.
In Viet Nam, a UN study estimating the cost of domestic violence concluded that it resulted in an overall productivity loss of 1.78 percent of GDP in 2010.
"We need laws and policies that promote a supportive environment for the realisation of all of women's rights," Mehta said.
"We need increasing numbers of women in politics and law enforcement. We need communities and individuals to be a part of the change in mindsets, attitudes and beliefs."
She also cited the need to improve mechanisms for data collection on the causes and consequences of different forms of violence against women and girls, such as the use of disaggregated data by sex and age.
Viet Nam will also attend the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, to be held at the UN headquarters in New York from March 4-15.
The policy dialogue was co-organised by the United Nations in Viet Nam and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in celebration of International Women's Day (March 8). — VNS