Updated  
March, 08 2014 08:44:49

VN needs to advance women's rights further

HA NOI (VNS)— While Viet Nam has reduced poverty and achieved gender parity in primary schools, more needs to be done to promote the rights of women and girls across the country to meet Millennium goals.

This was stated at a meeting between United Nations officials in Viet Nam and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to mark International Women's Day today.

The half-day event bought together more than 200 people, including policy makers, ministry representatives, the Viet Nam Women's Union and the UN in Viet Nam.

Participants stressed the importance of striving for gender equality in formulating a new generation of sustainable development goals.

Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Representative in Viet Nam, said that the gap between rich and poor was widening in Viet Nam, particularly for ethnic minorities, migrant workers and those in hard-to-reach areas.

She said the unbalanced male-to-female sex ratio at birth was just one example, adding that 112 boys were born for every 100 girls.

Up to 70 per cent of ethnic women give birth at home, leading to a high rate of maternal fatalities.

On the plains, nearly 100 per cent of women go to hospitals and medical stations to have their children, according to statistics from the United Nations.

Ishikawa said that the wage gap between men and women was increasing.

Women were still less likely to own land and other assets and women were also under-represented in decision making at all levels.

She added that less than 20 per cent of land-use certificates were signed by women. And only 20 per cent of the national secretariat and 13 per cent of the Politburo were women.

Ishikawa said that any goals adopted in the post-2015 agenda must be rights-based and fully aligned with the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Vu Ngoc Thuy, deputy director of the labour ministry's Gender Equality Department, suggested that gender equality be kept in mind when making laws, strategies and policies.

UN Resident Co-ordinator, Arthur Erken, called for moves to end all violence against women, as "gender equality and women's empowerment are simply not possible if we do not end violence and fear of violence".

"Viet Nam must ensure that women take full part in household, public and private decision making," he said. — VNS


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