Attending this ceremonywere Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa – President of Vietnam Women’s Union; Mr. Hoang Tuan Anh – Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Ms. Huynh Thi Nhan – Vice Minister of MOLISA; Ms. Trieu Thi Nai – Vice President of Ethnic Council of National Assembly; Mr. John Hendra – UN Resident Coordinator to Vietnam; Dr. Suzette Mitchell – Director of UNIFEM; Mr. Andrew Brune – Representative Leader of IOM; Ambassadors of Canada and Ireland; representatives from UN organizations, embassies, NGOs in Hanoi, representatives from governmental offices, mass organizations, the police forces and members of VWU.
At the ceremony, on behalf of VWU, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa (President of VWU) pointed out that Vietnam is one of the first countries in the world ratifying UN Convention on Eliminating all types of Violence against Women in 1981. Recently Gender Equality Law and Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control have been adopted by the National Assembly. Therefore, VWU has guided the union at all levels nationwide to motivate for 1 million signatures from staff, members, women and men in Vietnam to respond this global campaign. It would also communicate these 2 laws above to everybody in the community; severely condemn acts of violence; co-operate with ministries and branches in organizing activities of intervention, support and protection of victims…
Violence to women has nowadays become a pressing issue of the whole world. According to UNIFEM, in fact, 1 in 3 women experiences violence in their lifetime. It is obviously that violence against women is the highest evidence of gender inequality, causes severe consequences. Too often, no action against the perpetrators follows and for the survivors there is limited access to needed support.
UNIFEM is the leading advocate for action to address gender-based violence, whether it is domestic violence, human trafficking or sexual harassment. Speaking at the ceremony, Director of UNIFEM Vietnam Program Dr. Suzette Mitchell emphasized that “Campaigns such as “Say NO to violence against women” show that innovation, experience and activism are essential in ending violence against women… UNIFEM has consistently supported work to end violence.”
UN Resident Co-coordinator to Vietnam Mr. John Hendra confirmed: “Speaking out against violence towards women is very important at the highest levels, especially all men. It is our responsibility not only to pledge but also not condone any act of violence… The UN advocates zero tolerance on this issue.”
This ceremony is a response of VWU to UNIFEM’s campaign: “Say NO to violence against women” which targeted to collect 1 million signatures of people in the world and raise fund for Global Fund of UNIFEM. All the signature lists will be presented to UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon on the day “Eliminate violence against women” of UN (November 25, 2008). The Internet-based campaign of UNIFEM emphasizes the purpose of UN Trust Fund to end violence against women.
At the end of the ceremony, all the delegates and participants signed on the book responding “Say NO to violence against women” campaign, showing international pledge to promote gender equality and end domestic violence, including violence towards Vietnamese women. The campaign now attracts nearly 300,000 signatures in the Internet worldwide.