Speakers at the online workshop "Step-up for women in economic recovery against COVID-19”. — Photo courtesy of the organisers
HCM CITY — Countries around the world are moving from targeting zero COVID-19 cases to living safely with the disease, and Việt Nam is no exception.
In this critical moment, co-operation among businesses and socio-economic organisations to empower women is motivation for the journey towards economic recovery and improvement of living qualities, while enhancing women’s roles and positions in families and society, delegates said at a recent online workshop.
Held by Unilever Vietnam in partnership with the United Nations for Women, National Women’s Union, British Embassy, Standard Chartered Bank and Facebook, the workshop "Step-up for women in economic recovery against COVID-19” aims to raise public awareness of the impact caused by the pandemic on Vietnamese women and young girls, and to share women’s inspirational stories amid the pandemic.
The organisers also want to inspire organisations and businesses to join hands in empowering women and girls across three key actions: delivering capacity building for women in business skills for economic development, expanding employment opportunities for women; increasing financial access for women to help them start or restart their business, improve livelihoods and gain financial aid to overcome this challenging periods; and improving women’s access to digital platforms.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic’s rise since the beginning of 2020, women worldwide have been severely impacted by its socio-economic causes, delegates said.
In Việt Nam, women have similarly undergone income reduction, low access to financial resources and social services, and physical and mental health decline, all the while enlisting themselves in the frontline in fighting against the pandemic, assuming the positions of nurses, doctors, caregivers, supermarket staff and servicepeople, environmental workers, factory workers, and mothers and sisters quietly taking care of their families.
Nguyễn Thị Bích Vân, Unilever Vietnam chairwoman, said: “The economy is pivotal in both ensuring women's confidence, the security of their family, and an important first step for them to overcome the barriers to gender equality and restrictions on the control of their lives, all the while being a positive energy towards a larger community amidst the pandemic context.
“We set an ambitious commitment to empower 1 million women to achieve more in life in Việt Nam in the next five years through three pillars: Expanding economic opportunities for women; Enhancing women’s status at workplace and pursuit of professional career; and Removing harmful stereotypes that are barriers to females’ achievements.”
Emily Hamblin, Consul General British Consulate General in HCM City, said: “There is a high proportion of women in the labour force, higher than in many developed economies, and I have seen that in Việt Nam, the role of women in business and society is very important.
"A survey by Grant Thornton indicates that about 36 per cent of senior management teams in Việt Nam already included women, higher than global and ASEAN averages (29 per cent and 28 per cent respectively).
"And yet, as is common across many countries and sectors, even where the participation rates are relatively high, these headlines can mask underlying inequalities, with women more likely to occupy lower paid and more vulnerable jobs. Improving gender equality is not only right and fair, but also delivers better various outcomes.” — VNS