Cooperation between VWU and Australian Ambassy to be promoted
At the meeting, President Nguyen Thi Thu Ha highly appreciated the effective support and cooperation proviđe by the Australian Government and Australian Embassy in Vietnam to VWU over the past years through programs, projects, and activities for women. From his side, Mr. Layton Pike introduced to the VWU Vietnam's first Gender Equality Strategy for 2016-2020 to gradually narrow the gender gap in Vietnam.
The two sides discussed issues related to female workers and to the amended Labor Code which might help remove barriers to women's participation in the economy, such as harmonized retirement age for women and men, elimination of gender stereotypes at home and at workplace, strengthened regulations on sexual harassment and gender–based violence, retained rules on breastfeeding breaks, and equal pay for work of equal values, etc.
According to President Ha, VWU firmly perisists to retain the regulation on breastfeeding break time because it is a very human and necessary policy. It is not only to protect women’s rights, but also to ensure children’s rights and their comprehensive development since the early years of their life as the country's future human resources-.
Regarding the retirement age, VWU agrees on the need to increase the retirement age in harmony to guarantee the principle of gender equality. VWU will continue to conduct research, consultation and impact assessment to identify the appropriate retirement age for different target groups, gender and occupation characteristics. VWU is willing to collaborate with Australia in research in order to provide accurate and convincing arguments on the impact of increased retirement age to economic growth, to advocate for equal retirement age between men and women.
The Embassy of Australia will also call on international partners to support VWU on clean water and sanitation efforts, especially the 2017-2022’s Aus4warter program with the objective to increase the percentage of women and people accessing clean water, reducing the workload and increasing economic opportunities for women in the field of clean water. Australia is also interested in assisting VWU in capacity building for policy advocacy, providing social counter arguments and implementingSDGs, supporting women in business start-up and gender-based violence prevention.