Vietnam empowering rural women toward sustainable development

Thursday, 2018-03-08 17:22:41
 Font Size:     |        Print

Gender equality policies have been increasingly rolled out to empower rural women. (Photo: NDO)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – Vietnam has been taking active and decisive actions in implementing gender equality policies towards sustainable development goals, with a focus on rural areas, thereby enhancing the empowerment of rural women in all areas of social life.

The assessment was given during a Hanoi policy event this morning on “Empowering Rural Women for Vietnam’s Sustainable Development.” The event was co-organised by the United Nations in Vietnam in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, (MOLISA) and the Vietnam National Committee for the Advancement of Women in commemoration of International Women’s Day (March 8).

In his opening remarks, Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of MOLISA affirmed that the legal framework in Vietnam has been increasingly developed to enhance the empowerment of rural women in all areas. The National Target Programmes on Sustainable Poverty Reduction and Modern Rural Development have focused on vocational training for rural workers to help them escape from poverty and build prosperous families, while saying no to violence, and being advocates for women’s welfare.

Over the past 30 years, the country has achieved remarkable economic growth with a significant contribution from the agriculture sector. According to the General Statistics Office's 2016 report, although agriculture accounted for only 16.3% of Vietnam's GDP, 41.9% of the labour force are engaged in agricultural production. Women constitute a critical workforce in agricultural production, especially in rural areas, where 63.4% of working women are employed in agriculture sector, compared to 57.5% of working men.

However, rural women still face numerous difficulties and challenges. They often work at low-quality, unstable jobs without sustainability, while having little access to social protection services. Their access to productive resources such as land, technology, and financial services is also very restricted.

Delegates pose for a group photo at the event. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)

The policy dialogue discussed the current situation of rural women in terms of living conditions, work, employment, and social security in Vietnam’s process of achieving Sustainable Development Goals and realising its international commitments to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Participants gave recommendations on empowering rural women in Vietnam. Kamal Malhotra, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Vietnam suggested eliminating structural barriers and discrimination in laws and practises to ensure equal opportunities and results for women, transforming the lives of rural women and girls.

UN Resident Coordinator to Vietnam, Kamal Malhotra, suggests eliminating structural barriers and discriminations in law and practises to ensure equal opportunities and results for women. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)

Experts also urged to place mainstream gender perspectives into national planning, decision making, and policy formulation and implementation. Local authorities were recommended to promote a favourable environment for rural women and girls to fully and actively participate in the decisions, policies, and institutions that affect their livelihoods, as well as supporting rural women’s access to financing, sustainable energy and other technologies, information, and social protection.

It is also necessary to strengthen the capacity of national statistical offices and other relevant institutions to collect, analyse, and disseminate gender statistics to support policies for rural women and girls and to monitor progress towards the SDGs.

Issues and recommendations discussed at the policy event will be submitted for Viet Nam’s report at the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62), which will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the US from March 12 to 23.