HA NOI (VNS) — Ministries and the UN in Viet Nam launched a national campaign yesterday in Ha Noi asking the public – especially men – to take action to end violence against women.
The initiative's timing marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov. 25. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the UN in Viet Nam and other development partners organised the campaign, which will host workshops, exhibitions, runs, street dances and other activities between Nov. 18 and Dec. 16 in 12 provinces and cities across the country.
Huynh Vinh Ai, the deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said Viet Nam had a solid legal framework in place to address gender equality and gender-based violence.
However, more needs to be done to ensure that the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control is further reinforced and implemented, he said.
"Let's work together to ensure that Vietnamese men and boys ‘raise hands to hold, not to hit,'" he said.
The National Study on Domestic Violence Against Women, released by the General Statistics Office and the UN in Viet Nam in 2010, found that 58 per cent of married women experienced at least one form of violence – physical, mental or sexual – at some point in their lives.
About 50 per cent of victims did not tell anyone about the violence they endured, and 87 per cent did not seek help from public services.
Gender-based violence cost Viet Nam nearly 1.5 per cent of national GDP in 2012, in out-of-pocket expenditures and lost earnings, a recent UN study found.
"If we want to reduce violence, we have to socialise boys and girls differently, and we will have to rethink the idea of what is male and what is female," said Pratibha Mehta, resident co-ordinator of the UN in Viet Nam. "We will have to develop partnerships between men and women." — VNS