Promoting women’s role in green economy key to sustainable development

Tuesday, 2019-06-25 11:13:27
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A Khmer woman harvests cucumber in Cai Gia hamlet, Hung Hoi commune, Vinh Loi district, the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu. (Photo: NDO/Trong Duy)
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NDO – Ensuring that women are fully empowered and engaged in the economy would help eliminate poverty and promote prosperity towards sustainable development, heard a forum held in Hanoi on June 24.

With the aim of honouring creativity, sharing practical experiences of Vietnamese businesswomen and promoting the role of women in the green economy, the Vietnam Women's Union with support of UN Women organised the forum to discuss the role of women in green economy.

Speaking at the opening, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Van Tung affirmed that supporting women in economic development has a very important meaning in implementing gender equality and promoting social progress.

One of Vietnam’s top strategies is to develop a low-carbon green economy, promote energy efficiency, create jobs and secure social justice. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to mobilise the participation of the whole society. Women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses have an important role and opportunity to participate equally in the business community, to come up with innovative solutions and responses to climate change, thus creating positive environmental, economic and social impacts in Vietnam, Tung said.

Aiming to build a green economy, over the past few years the Vietnam Women's Union has implemented initiatives to support women in startup, including the 2017-2025 women startup support project to improve women's economic power, focusing on female business owners.

In addition, through the project on building a centre for innovation in responding to climate change, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Vietnam Women's Union organised a contest to seek the best ideas in 2019 focusing on women and the future of green economy, aiming to support female entrepreneurs and women-led small and medium enterprises to develop and deliver clean and green technology initiatives to cope with climate change.

Information on green start-up projects provided on the sidelines of the forum (Photo: UN Women).

Elisa Fernandez, UN Women Head Office in Vietnam, said that poverty cannot be eradicated and prosperity and sustainable development cannot be realised if women are not empowered and fully engaged in the economy. It is necessary to remove barriers and encourage women to participate in the economy by consolidating policies and promoting reforms to ensure better working conditions for women, she suggested.

Affirming UN Women’s support to Vietnam in this effort, Elisa revealed that through cooperation with the Women's Union, the UN agency will soon sponsor VND700 million for three women-led businesses who apply green initiatives and bring economic and social benefits to women and ethnic minorities.

Delegates at the forum discussed the current situation, opportunities and challenges of the green economy in the context of global climate change, traditional obstacles and regulations affecting Vietnamese female entrepreneurs, and lessons and solutions to facilitate women in green business production.

In the context of global climate change, women are still one of the most severely affected populations by climate change and environmental degradation. Women make up 70% of the 1.3 billion people living below US$1 a day. Women also tend to be more dependent on common resources, such as water, food, or forest resources and are more vulnerable to the effects of natural resource degradation. However, due to gender prejudice, the role of women has not been properly recognised in economic development, especially in green economy.

TRUNG HUNG