Women Innovation For Development 16 October 2011Opening Remarks Posted: Oct 21,2011
Women Innovators Good morning,
On the occasion of Vietnamese Women’s day, I would like to salute all Vietnamese women, particularly those of you here this morning and to pay special tribute to the VWU for organizing this important symposium and giving several Vietnamese women the opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to innovate and find creative solutions to challenges that confront them and their communities in their day to day lives.
Decades of development experience has shown clearly that strong attention to gender issues is an important factor in development success.
Recent CGA prepared by MOLISA, WB, UN DFID and Ausaid, shows that Vietnam has made remarkable progress on gender issues and in promoting women’s rights but more remains to be done to fully tap the potential of Vietnamese women for the country’s development. In Vietnam the Government has passed the Gender Equality Law and the National Gender Strategy, both with the intention of addressing key constraints that prevent women from full participation in economic, social and political life in Vietnam. We look forward to supporting accelerated implementation of both the Law and the Strategy to fully address these remaining constraints.
Today’s symposium is on the topic “Women’s Innovation for Development”, we have seen in the exhibition several examples of innovative ideas and solutions by women being applied to everyday problems. Innovation is critical to the success of every society. Societies that fail to innovate stagnate and get left behind. In contrast, societies that innovate continually reinvent themselves to face new challenges and sieze new opportunities. I want to salute all the women who have shared their innovative ideas at this exhibition and also recognize those who are innovating but for some reason are not able to bring their ideas to the limelight. I commend the VWU for its several innovative activities that it is engaged in-working with EMW Foundation in a strategic partnership to provide sanitation services to poor households in the Mekong Delta using innovative output based approaches. This has made appreciable impact in the lives of communities in the participating provinces. This is clear example of innovation for development.
I am glad to learn that VWU intends to begin a VID for Vietnamese women. We would be very happy to share the World Bank’s long experience on organizing several successful VID competitions and more recently supporting the GI in organizing the Vietnam Anti Corruption Initiative.
All of us have in us the capacity to innovate. This is not an area that is for only a few. We can innovate in simple ways and in big ways.
I hope that today’s symposium will give women a chance to learn from each other and be inspired by stories of successful innovation and how obstacles to innovation can be overcome. I hope that we will all leave here eager to think creatively and find new ways of handling some of the challenges we face in a much more effective way. Successful symposium!