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VN faces several challenges in ensuring gender equality

Update: June, 24/2015 - 16:59
: International and domestic representatives pose for a photo at the national dialogue. — VNS Photo Thu Trang

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam has achieved some of the Millennium Development Goals, such as the goal of gender equality and the advancement of women, said Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Pham Thi Hai Chuyen.

Addressing a national dialogue marking 20 years of implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in Viet Nam yesterday, Chuyen said the outstanding achievements in gender equality and the empowerment of women in Viet Nam were due to the legal framework and policies on gender equality and empowerment of women, consolidation of the state management apparatus on gender equality, greater participation of women in leadership and management work, and gender equality in education and training.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted at the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, envisioned a world where each woman and girl could exercise her freedom and potential.

During the dialogue held by the United Nations and MOLISA in Ha Noäi, more than 160 participants discussed and contributed ideas for the country to achieve the vision of the declaration.

Thirteen out of 63 provinces and cities have set up gender equality offices, while the remaining localities have assigned at least one focal point to be in charge of gender equality work.

During the past nearly two decades, Viet Nam has always had female deputy presidents. Currently, there are two women in the politburo, representing 12.5 per cent in 2013, a six per cent increase over 2011.

The ratio of school attendance among boys and girls of school-going age has risen in recent years and the attendance gap has been narrowed. The ratio of attendance of school girls was even higher than that of school boys. The ratio of right-age enrolment in primary education was 98 per cent for boys and 97.7 per cent for girls. At the secondary educational level, these ratios were 78.3 per cent for boys and 83.9 per cent for girls.

But there were still a lot of difficulties and challenges during the implementation process, Chuyen said.

Violence against women and girls persists and the preference for males is still deep-rooted in the community.

The execution of the regulation on mainstreaming of gender equality in the formulation of legal documents still encounters numerous difficulties in practice, and is therefore not effective enough yet.

There has been a shortage of national comprehensive and periodical surveys of gender equality in key domains such as labour employment, education and healthcare.

Viet Nam is among five countries that are most severely affected by climate change and rising sea levels, which have adverse impacts on the lives of women and men.

Pratibha Mehta, United Nations resident coordinator in Viet Nam, said the macroeconomic policy should be reoriented to increase state investment in infrastructure and social services to ensure that women and girls can live with dignity.

The country should ensure full and equal participation of women in decision-making at all levels, including in political institutions, economy, climate change negotiations, as well as family decisions and community planning.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan said the Vietnamese state and government were committed to ensuring an equal society for women and girls to develop their full potential, she said. — VNS

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