The two-day workshop “Toward an ASEAN without gender-based violence – non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) experiences with policies on gender-based violence" attracted more than 40 participants from NGOs across ASEAN.— Photo thuonggiathitruong.vn
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam has been making strong efforts to secure equal rights for women and men, but violence against women and girls in the country is still a severe issue, experts said at a workshop on gender equality yesterday in Hà Nội.
The two-day workshop “Toward an ASEAN without gender-based violence – non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) experiences with policies on gender-based violence" attracted more than 40 participants from NGOs across ASEAN.
The workshop was planned by Việt Nam’s Gender-based Violence Network (GBVNet), facilitated by Care International in Việt Nam, and the Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (CSAGA).
Research from the Institute for Social Development Studies showed that many people believed that it was natural for men to commit violence against women, because men had the right to do so. More than 98 per cent of domestic violence cases were not reported.
The economic loss due to gender-based violence represented nearly 1.4 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, UN Việt Nam found. On average, women experiencing violence earned 35 per cent less than those who were not abused.
Hugh Borrowman, the Australian ambassador to Việt Nam, said that one in three women in the country had experienced violence from their spouse within the past year, but not many women spoke out and sought help.
"The loss due to violence against women is the same across races, nationalities and geographies," said Nguyễn Vân Anh, director of CSAGA and co-ordinator for GBVNet. "The only difference here is what solutions you take to prevent and stop it. The willingness for a better world without violence against women and girls brings us closer.”
Our actions today were important to build up a peaceful and happy ASEAN community, she said.
Anh said that civil society organisations (CSOs) in ASEAN countries faced obstacles in advocating for laws and policies to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Initiatives to advocate for necessary policies were very separate, making them less effective.
Decreasing sources of funding and limited capacity also created difficulties for advocates.
“Care International finds the elimination of violence against women to be crucial for social justice and gender equality to blossom," said Lê Kim Dung, country director of Care International in Việt Nam. “I do hope that collaboration among these CSOs will be consolidated to influence the development and implementation of policies on gender-based violence across the region, including Việt Nam."
At the workshop, representatives agreed that a thoughtful, planned strategy was required for success in this area. CSOs must establish a long-term view on advocacy and not expect individual meetings, partnerships or events to be successful. — VNS