First national forum held on engaging men in promoting gender equality

Wednesday, 2021-03-03 10:14:01
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A club of men participating in the promotion of gender equality makes debut in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo:
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NDO/VNA - A national forum on “Engaging Men and Boys in the Promotion of Gender Equality and the Elimination of Gender-based Violence” was held for the first time in Hanoi with 200 delegates participating both online and in person.

The forum was jointly held by UN Women in Vietnam, the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), and the Network for the Prevention of and Response to Gender Violence (GBVNet), with financial support from the Australian Government.

It offered an opportunity for organisations, groups, and men’s clubs in Vietnam to introduce and share lessons, experiences, and challenges in mobilising the participation of men in promoting gender equality as well as preventing and responding to violence against women and children, especially during COVID-19.

Delegates at the forum agreed to establish a network of men and boys participating in the promotion of gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence in Vietnam.

In his address, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra expressed his appreciation of the initiative, stressing that “with the active participation of men and women, I believe the process of achieving the gender equality goals in the Sustainable Development Agenda to 2030 will be accelerated in Vietnam. Because everyone has to promote gender equality, for everyone’s benefit.”

ISDS Deputy Director Tran Kien said that many Vietnamese men have realised that to avoid being left behind in the new era they must participate more in promoting gender equality and sharing opportunities with women.

This lies behind the establishment of a network of men and boys participating in the promotion of gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence, Kien added.

Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, spoke highly of the success of men’s clubs in Da Nang and HCM City and welcomed the initiative to set up the network.

She expressed a belief that the network will spread positive attitudes about masculinity, change rigid gender norms, and help men ease the pressure caused by these norms and engage them in activities to promote gender equality and combat gender-based violence in Vietnam.