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Australia to fund women's rights project in Viet Nam

Update: February, 20/2014 - 09:37
Chairwoman of the Viet Nam Women's Union Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa meets with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Ha Noi. — Photo tuoitre

HA NOI (VNS)— Australia will provide AUD4.2 million (US$3.79 million) for two projects in partnership with the Viet Nam Women's Union, said Julie Bishop, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, during her visit to Viet Nam yesterday.

Of the amount, AUD2.1 million ($1.8 million) will be used for a new agricultural research partnership project delivered through the Australian Centre for Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

This project will offer real improvements to women's lives, lifting household incomes by linking farmers and traders with more lucrative markets in urban centres.

Women in Viet Nam play a crucial role in farming. ACIAR's partnership will see Australian and Vietnamese researchers collaborating to improve the profitability and sustainability of smallholder vegetable farmers in the highlands of northwestern Viet Nam.

More than 2,000 women from ethnic minorities and poor smallholder farming families will benefit in Lao Cai province alone, allowing them to increase vegetable production by around AUD3.4 million annually.

Domestic violence also remains a serious issue in Viet Nam. Gender-based violence prevents women from reaching their personal and economic potential.

The Australian Government will provide AUD2.1 million for combating gender-based violence under the Australia's Government Partnerships for Development programme (GPFD), which provides grants to link Australian and international public sector organisations.

South Australia's Flinders University will partner with the Viet Nam Women's Union to strengthen services for women and children experiencing violence, including through shelters and counselling.

These projects underline the vital link between women's participation in the country's economic life and overall social and economic development. — VNS

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