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Women's political participation on rise

Update: February, 27/2016 - 09:44
Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai highlights communication's role in improving awareness and promoting women's participation in politics. — Photo
HA NOI  (VNS) — Communication plays an important role in improving awareness and promoting women's participation in politics, said Truong Thi Mai, head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Mass Mobilisation.

At a conference held on Thursday, Mai said Viet Nam must take more breakthrough measures to reach the target of 35 per cent women in the National Assembly (NA) and People's Council for the 2016-2021 term.

Data shows that the country has made strides in increasing women's presence in elected agencies, from three per cent at the first NA to 24.4 per cent at the 13th NA (from 2011 to 2016).

In the 2011-16 tenure, women accounted for 25.17 per cent of deputies at province-level People's Committees, 24.62 per cent at district-level People's Committees and 21.71 per cent at commune-level People's Committees.

Mai said increasing women's participation in elected bodies will help bring the country closer to gender equality and ensure women's engagement in deciding policies.

It was a global fact that to have a decisive voice, women must hold at least 30 per cent of the seats in the State apparatus, she noted. Their modest participation in elected agencies was attributable to a lack of gender awareness and other societal factors.

Public communication should focus on Party and State policies on boosting women's involvement in leadership and management activities, and the Law on the election of NA and People's Council deputies, which stipulates that at least 35 per cent of official candidates for positions in the NA and People's Councils must be women.

Women's contributions to national development also need to be popularised, the Party official added.

Sharing the view, UN Resident Co-ordinator in Viet Nam Pratibha Mehta said one of the reasons for women's limited political participation was that some potential female candidates were not well-known.

A 2015 study in Viet Nam showed that only 22 per cent of news on newspapers, televisions and radios are about women's issues. The rate was just 18 per cent on websites.

Disseminating information can highlight the image of female leaders and create positive changes. Media outlets should showcase women's contributions and ensure equal coverage of both genders during elections, Mehta said. — VNS

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