Women join hands to fight poverty Posted: Oct 25,2006
Over the past years, the Vietnam Women Union (VWU) has devised many practical programmes of action to realise the Party resolution and the national target programme on hunger and poverty reduction. Women organisations across the country have been encouraged to actively engage in social programmes to help women escape poverty.
According to VWU Chairwoman Ha Thi Khiet, emulation movements such as “Women help each other in household economic development” and “Saving Day for Poor Women” have attracted many women from all social strata. Women have contributed millions of their working days while women organisations have provided millions of saplings and hundreds of billions of Vietnam Dong in interest-free loans to help poor women develop production and improve their living conditions.
The movement “Compassionate House” has received a positive response from individuals and social organisations across the country. Over the past four years, more than 12,600 houses have been built for poor women at a total cost of VND351 billion.
In addition, the Vietnam Women Union has cooperated with the Bank for Social Policies and the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to give loans to poor women through women’s credit funds established at the grassroots level. Every year, the two banks transfer approximately VND10,000 billion to VWU chapters to help three million poor women access loans to develop production.
Local VWU chapters have helped their members access loans and save money for emergency. Over the past four years, they have contributed more than VND1,660 billion to hunger and poverty reduction projects. As a result, more than 400,000 poor households are helped to escape poverty every year.
However, there remain several weaknesses which need to be addressed. The number of poor women is rather high and there is a high risk of poor women falling into poverty again after the programme. Many poor women still lack in investment capital for production and their education levels are rather low. In addition, social prejudice towards women still has a negative impact on hunger and poverty reduction programmes as well as the advancement of women, particularly poor women.
To realise the goal of reducing hunger and poverty in a sustainable manner, VWU will continue to encourage women from all social strata to effectively implement the national target programme on hunger and poverty reduction, enhance communication and education activities, launch emulation movements and cooperate closely with relevant agencies in helping women develop production effectively. It will also have to effectively manage the Government’s VND 40 billion fund in support of poor women./.