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Gender equality improves, but obstacles remain: summit

Update: April, 13/2017 - 16:19
Having control over their lives, making independent decisions, and keeping up to date on social and political issues can help ensure women’s rights at work and at home, participants said at the “Women Bettering the World” summit held on Wednesday in HCM City. — Photo vietnamfriendship.vn

HCM CITY  Having control over their lives, making independent decisions, and keeping up to date on social and political issues can help ensure women’s rights at work and at home, participants said at the “Women Bettering the World” summit held on Wednesday in HCM City.

With the participation of more than 1,000 guests, including female leaders of many  countries, the summit, held for the first time in Việt Nam by Forbes Việt Nam, discussed the status of women empowerment in today’s world.

Participants agreed that more women worldwide hold important roles in Government and big companies and are succeeding in fields once dominated by men.

However, most women still struggle to balance work and home life, while many people in various parts of the world continue to believe that women should not do what men do and that housework should be the priority.

“Women should be able to have control over their lives in all fields of life, especially in financial issues,” said Nguyễn Thanh Phượng, chairwoman of Việt Capital.

Phượng said that today’s women should have the right to make her own decisions about family and career.

Nguyn Th Mai Thanh, CEO of REE, said women should keep up to date on political and social issues, which can help them succeed in business.

“Don’t assume that as a woman, you can wait for help from others,” Thanh added. “It is never too late for women. Set your standards for happiness and your needs.”

Đào Thu Hiền, CEO of Golden Path Academics, said that women should determine their own lives but should seek a balance between private and public life.

“All decisions are yours. Don’t ever ask what you have to do. Just ask what you want to do,” she said.

Gender equality

Although acknowledging years of progress for women, participants at the summit said there were still obstacles to women empowerment.

Nguyễn Vân Anh, director of the Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents, said women still suffered from domestic violence, not only in rural areas but in urban areas as well.

“They do not dare live with their desires,” Vân Anh said.

Vân Anh said that her centre, which opened 20 years ago, continued to see domestic violence cases.

“The difference is that people who come to us now are younger. This is a positive sign because it shows that women know how to respond after a conflict in the family,” she said.

Tôn Nữ Thị Ninh, former ambassador of Việt Nam to the EU, said she saw positive signs of increasing gender equality in the country.

People have recognised the role of women in the development of the country and society, while many women have joined sectors once dominated by men. 

However, Ninh said that many women continue to suffer from domestic violence and remain poor.

She said that Việt Nam lagged behind other countries in gender equality.

“We have gained progress in gender equality, but it hasn’t been adequate to our potential. We should do more,” Ninh said.  — VNS

 

 

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