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INTRODUCTION
Basic Information on Vietnam Women’s Union
Posted: Apr 20,2005

Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) was found in 1930. The history of VWU is closely attached to the country’s history for national independence and development. VWU has a network that operates throughout Vietnam at four administrative levels of central, provincial, district and commune ones with a total membership of above 13 million women. Since its foundation, VWU has transformed and developmental organization, which is mandated to protect women’s legitimate rights and strive for gender equality.

Development history of the VWU

 

Founded in October 20, 1930. VWU has experienced and made important contributions to the national liberalization and construction.

 

During the period of 1930-45, VWU was known as different names, such as the Liberalization Women's Union (1931-45), the Anti-imperialism Women's Union (1936-38), the Democratic Women's Union (1939-40), and then the Women League for National Salvation (WLNS). All these predecessor organizations of the Union had undertaken the common task of mobilizing women nationwide to take part in the anti-feudalism and anti-imperialism movements led by the Communist Party to struggle for the power of the people.

 

In May 1950, the First National Women's Congress was held and it decided to turn the WLNS into the VWU and made it the unique political organization of women in Vietnam. At that time, VWU's membership already mounted to 3 million of those 10, out of 403, were members of the National Assembly's First Tenure of the then Democratic Republic of Vietnam. VWU had encouraged its members across the country actively participate in the process of the national building anti-French colonial resistance war, defending successfully the young state.

 

During the period of 1955-1975, when the whole country was tasked to liberate the South from the American and its agents, protect socialism in the North, and ultimately unify the country. VWU had initiated many campaigns of emulation all over the country such as "the campaign of 5 good", and "the campaign of 3 abilities", etc. These moves, had been morally encouraged women in every part of the country in their labor, combat, study and family every day life.

 

From 1976 to 1985, it was the period when the resistance war against the American aggressors ended, the country became unified and started the new task of recovering over the aftermath of war and mobilizing its resources for national economic development. In tune with the national efforts VWU launched successfully a campaign titled "New women in the national construction and defense".

 

Vietnam Women's Union has contributed its great efforts to the achivevment of National Renovation since 1986 in the areas of socio-economic development.

 

The current national- wide movements are "Mutual assistance among women in household economic development, thrift for national construction" and "women actively study, creatively work and nurture happy families".

 

In each state of Vietnamese history, VWU has always fulfilled its duties and tasks, thus for the sake of national interest. In this process, VWU gradually strengthened its organizational structure, activities contents and methods as well as applied new and effective measures to attract more membership. At the same time, VWU has also broadened its external relation for better mutual understanding and co-operation for equality development and peace.

 

These efforts and contribution of the VWU have been highly appreciated by leaders of the State and the Party. The Late President Ho Chi Minh usually referred to Vietnamese women with love and affection as "The beautiful country of Vietnam has been built and woven by the women, both young and old, with their heartfelt efforts to become more wonderful". Furthermore, on the occasion of its 65th anniversary of foundation, VWU was also awarded a curtain on which reads "Vietnamese women are faithful, capable, talent and heroic" by the former Secretary General Do Muoi who was on behalf of the Party and the State. At The 10thCongress in Hanoi, on October 2007, Party General Nong Duc Manh present a banner written: “Vietnamese women, unity, creativeness, equality and development and contributing to national renovation in all fields.

 

Many women have devoted great contributions to the development of the Union, in particular, and the cause of national liberalization, construction and defense, in general to name a few Mrs. Hoang Thi Ai, Mrs. Le Thi Xuyen, Mrs. Hoang Thi Ai, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thap, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Dinh, Mrs. Truong My Hoa, Mrs. Ha Thi Khiet.

 

Organizational Structure of the VWU

 

At present, the VWU has a membership of above 13 million members belonging to 10,472 local women's union in communes and towns throughout the country. The organizational system of VWUis divided into 4 levels, comprising the Central level, the Provincial and Municipal level (63 units), the District level (642 units), and the Commune level (10,472 units).

 

VWU Institution chart

 

Medal for the Cause of Women Liberalization

 

Medal "For the Cause of Women's Emancipation/For the Development of Women in Vietnam" is the noblest award of the VWU to be conferred to those Vietnamese and foreigners who have made great contributions the advancement of women in Vietnam. There has been 94,021 people so far awarded this medal during the last decade.

Goals of the women's movement in the 2007 - 2012 period

Goals of the women's movement in the 2002 - 2007 period

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"... From the beginning of the first century A.D., when the two Trung Sisters rose up to fight the enemy and save the nation, until now, whenever our country has faced danger, our women have contributed whatever they could toward the cause of national liberation.

Our people are grateful that our mothers from South and North alike have borne and raised our nation's generation of heroes....

Under the Socialist system, tens of thousands of women have become specialists in different fields and, as cadre, serve as directors and vice-directors of factories, leaders of farming cooperatives, presidents of People’s Committees, and general secretaries of Party Cells....

And so, the women of Vietnam from ancient times until now, from South to North, from young to old, are truly heroes ..."

(Excerpted from President Ho Chi Minh's speech on the 36th Anniversary of Vietnam Women's Union 20 October 1966)

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