HA NOI (VNS)— Recent progress in gender equality and women's empowerment was outstanding, said Hoang Thi Thu Huyen, deputy director of the Gender Equality Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
At a dialogue on gender equality, which was held yesterday in Ha Noi to mark International Women's Day, Huyen said that 48 per cent of the 54.6 million people in the national workforce, those aged 15 and up, were women.
In many localities, the ratio of newly employed women last year was more than 60 per cent such as the northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Thai Binh and the southern province of Dong Nai. The average in 2014 was about 42 per cent.
The ratio of female business leaders was 24.9 per cent, an increase by 0.5 per cent compared with 2013.
However, she said, patriarchal behaviours and attitudes and gender stereotypes still persisted.
There was a small increase of two per cent in the number of women on people's councils from 2011-2015, with no province having 30 per cent or more women on a commune people's council.
The country still had a shortage of support and rehabilitation services for victims of gender-based violence.
Vu Phuong Ly, a programme specialist of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), said, "Women's economic empowerment is a key for sustainable socio-economic development."
Ly proposed addressing occupational segregation, gender pay gaps and the drudgery of unpaid work for women.
Participation and leadership of women's organisations and civil society in accountability mechanisms should be amplified, she said.
Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and chairwoman of the National Committee for the Advancement of Women, said that Viet Nam would continue developing and improving laws and policies on gender equality.
United Nations Resident Co-ordinator, Pratibha Mehta, said that gender equality was a political issue and could be reached with actions from senior leaders.
President Truong Tan Sang on September 27 last year pledged that the country would strive to eliminate gender gaps in all fields.
Pratibha said that she hoped more efforts would be put to implement the national strategy on gender equality and the national action programme on gender equality which had been approved. — VNS