|Poor women receive free health check-up and treatment in Go Vap District, HCM City. — Photo govap.hochiminhcity.gov.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Many women in HCM City, especially in its disadvantaged areas, have seen their lives improve thanks to a Women's Union programme that has been offering vocational training and helping them with livelihoods since 2010.
A sewing machine provided for free to Dang Thi Bach Cuc of Go Vap District after the programme started has helped her and her family escape poverty.
She and her teacher husband have two children, one of whom is epileptic. She used to work as an embroiderer, but life was very difficult for her family, which had been classified as one of Ward 10's poor.
Two years after benefiting under the union's programme, Cuc bought five more sewing machines. Now her sewing facility employs 40 other women, each of whom earn VND4-5 million (US$170- 220) a month.
Tran Ngoc Nga of Hung Long Commune in the outlying district of Binh Chanh also received help under the programme.
She received training in sewing at a free class organised by the union, and afterwards sought financial assistance from it to buy sewing machines for herself and the other trainees.
The union gave them 20 machines.
She went to apparel companies and succeeded in getting orders. Now her tailoring facility employs 21 women, including eight who work from home since they have young children to take care of.
Le Thi Tam, 62, also of Binh Chanh, got a loan from the union to buy three joss stick-making machines.
She encouraged poor neighbours without jobs to come to her house for on-the-job training in incense making. Now she has 19 machines and 25 women working on them.
Tran Thi Phuong Hoa, deputy head of the city Women's Union, said nearly 37,800 women have received vocational training under the programme, and around 30,000 got jobs, including 18,662 who are self-employed.
"Vocational training and employment are the right of women."
Nguyen Thi Kieu Oanh, deputy head of the union's committee for overseeing programmes in the southern region, said providing training and job assistance are the union's main activities.
The union has performed these tasks well at all levels in the city, especially in outlying districts, she said.
It is important to provide training and monetary assistance if women are to find self-employment, she said.
Admitting that many women entrepreneurs have difficulty in finding businesses to buy their products, she added that the union should help link them with companies.
Tran Anh Tuan, deputy head of the city Centre for Human Resource Forecast and Labour Information, said the programme should focus more on improving women trainees' skills to meet the demand for high-quality human resources when the ASEAN Economic Community comes into existence at the end of this year.
The ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements in fields like nursing, medical, dental practice, and accountancy would bring women job opportunities in other ASEAN countries, he said. — VNS