|Women in Lào Cai Province make products from traditional cloths and fibres. Aus4Equality expects to increase the incomes of 40,000 self-employed female farmers in Lào Cai and Sơn La provinces. - VNA/VNS Photo|Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG – Australia will invest AU$33.7 million (US$25.6 million) through the new Aus4Equality programme, focusing on Sơn La and Lào Cai provinces in the north-west of Việt Nam.
The new initiative to support women’s economic empowerment was announced by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM).
The mountainous north-west region of Việt Nam is home to a diverse ethnic minority population and has some of the highest levels of poverty and inequality in the country, according to a press release from the Australian Embassy in Hà Nội.
“Women in these areas are particularly disadvantaged, experiencing challenges such as isolation, lower levels of education and lack of decision-making power in their households and community, which prevent them from accessing economic opportunities,” it said.
The five-year programme will help improve the lives of women, their families and local communities, and contribute to improved productivity and economic growth in the region.
Aus4Equality expects to increase the incomes of 40,000 self-employed female farmers and small entrepreneurs; create 4,000 full-time positions for women, achieve a 15 per cent increase in the number of women leading or co-managing formal businesses; and increase women’s profit and roles in policy, management, strategic decision-making and resource allocation in the agriculture and tourism market sectors.
Of the amount, some AU$7 million will be leveraged in private sector investment for business opportunities and approximately AU$17 million will be used to help women in the provinces better engage in agriculture and tourism sectors at all levels. – VNS