Hanoi (VNA) – Many projects and programs designed to promote gender equality in all sectors have been implemented in Vietnam over the past decade, contributing significantly to changing the mindset of people on gender stereotypes and increase the value of women and girls in society, said UNFPA Representative in Vietnam Naomi Kitahara.
These projects cover a wide range of fields such as politics, economy, culture, information, health, education, science and family, Kitahara pointed out in an interview with the News Agency. of Vietnam (VNA).
According to the UNFPA representative, Vietnam is a signatory to international instruments on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment. In 2006, the country enacted the Gender Equality Act which mandates government bodies to fulfill their gender equality responsibilities and ensure that any gender-related violations are addressed.
Targeted policies and measures such as the National Gender Equality Strategies 2011-2020 and 2021-2030, the Gender Equality Action Plans 2011-2015 and 2016-2020 and other legislation define the responsibilities for the implementation of the law, she added.
Women and girls, who represent half of the population, also represent half of the country’s socio-economic growth potential, she said, noting that gender equality, in addition to the fact that it is t is a fundamental human right, is essential for peaceful societies and sustainable development.
Kitahara highlighted Vietnam’s achievements in gender equality, such as the higher rate of women in the National Assembly, which is 30.26 percent in the 15th term, compared to 26.72 percent. during the previous term.
In employment, women’s participation in the labor force is almost as high as that of men (73.3% for men and 65.3% for women in 2021), she said, citing the figures published by the General Statistics Office (GSO).
At the same time, the maternal mortality rate fell from 233 per 100,000 live births in the 1990s to 69 per 100,000 live births in 2009 and 46 per 100,000 live births in 2019, Kitahara continued.
Asked about the role of Vietnamese women in modern society, she said it has changed tremendously.
“Modernization and the advent of the latest technologies have expanded hope and opportunities for women and girls in Vietnam,” she said.
“Many women have established themselves socially, politically and economically in almost every field, and they have succeeded.”
The UNFPA representative, however, highlighted the limitations in Vietnam such as the prevalence of violence against women and gender selection.
Promote access of rural women and ethnic minorities to SRH
Although Vietnam has made significant progress in improving sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) of the general population over the past decades, disparities and inequalities remain in terms of access to sexual and reproductive health services between different ethnicities and regions, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic , said Kitahara.
Considering this, UNFPA has a set of recommendations to national and subnational health authorities.
First, in order to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19, especially among vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities and migrant workers, the capacity of skilled birth attendants can be further increased and their networks can be supported, which can also provide primary health care. at district and community levels.
Third, elements of COVID-19 prevention and control can be fully integrated into the provision of antenatal, delivery and postnatal care in all health facilities to ensure continuity of provision and use of essential services.
Finally, innovative interventions, such as telehealth services (first UNFPA-supported MCH247 mobile app) and culturally sensitive behavior change communications, should be leveraged for quality SRH services among vulnerable populations. .
UNFPA’s continued support in Vietnam
Kitahara said that currently UNFPA is working with Vietnamese ministries, other government agencies, the National Assembly and organizations to promote gender equality, particularly in addressing gender-based violence and other practices. and ensuring the provision of sexual and reproductive health care.
Over the past decade, UNFPA has supported the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to conduct the ten-year reviews of the Prevention and Control of Domestic Violence and Gender Equality Act.
UNFPA considers it essential to put in place an enabling environment (legislation and policies) for the promotion of gender equality, she noted.
Kitahara said UNFPA is also helping Vietnam generate evidence and analyze data on gender equality, citing the fund’s support in conducting the 2nd national study on violence against women and the population and housing census in 2019, which was very innovative with the use of the most advanced technologies. ICT technology.
UNFPA promotes innovative communication, especially as part of the government’s prioritization on digital transformation. This is particularly useful for working with younger generations in Vietnam, who are creative and inspiring in using modern technologies to express themselves, promote gender equality and embrace diversity.
“We are also harnessing innovative communication to encourage the participation of men and boys,” she said. “Vietnamese media is also moving towards using digital technologies to effectively convey gender messages.”
UNFPA is increasingly partnering with the private sectors, including buses and taxis, as well as mobile phone companies to deliver gender-specific messages such as ending violence against women and putting the emphasis on “Girls deserve to shine”.
At the same time, UNFPA ensures the provision of services to help women and girls. In 2020, the first-ever one-stop crisis center “Anh Duong House” was launched in the northern province of Quang Ninh, providing comprehensive and essential services, including medical care, counseling, police protection, security services. social protection and justice, which is an important change of shelter. This model was replicated in the central province of Thanh Hoa in early 2022, and over the next five years, six more centers are expected to be established across the country.
Kitahara affirmed that UNFPA will continue to work for a Vietnam where the potential of women and girls is fully explored and realized, because “girls deserve to shine.”/.