AIPA promotes gender equality

Increasing female parliamentarians’ role in legislation is an important goal of all nations, which has been included in the working agenda of the ASEAN Inter-parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) for the past years, says a senior Vietnamese legislator.


Through diverse activities, AIPA has encouraged its member countries to heighten their role and responsibility toward joint efforts striving for women’s advancement in the region, said Tong Thi Phong, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Assembly, at a conference in Hanoi o­n November 30.   

She affirmed that Vietnam has made important achievements in increasing women’s role in legislation, State management and socio-economic development. The number of female deputies to the National Assembly and grassroots-level People’s Councils has increased significantly. Many women have constantly improved their qualifications in laws, economic management and business administration, making a substantial contribution to national development.

However, Ms Phong said, like other countries in the region and the world, Vietnam is coping with challenges in finalizing its legal system, especially laws aimed at protecting women’s rights and interests in production and business activity, generating jobs and providing social insurance services to women.

She expressed her hope that during the two-day conference, AIPA female parliamentarians would share experiences in law-making and boost cooperation to promote mutual trust and understanding, overcome current challenges facing them and increase their role and position in all aspects of life.

In her welcome address, State Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan acknowledged the progress made in promoting women’s role in society. She said since the ASEAN declaration o­n the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was approved in 2004, it has been implemented by all 10 ASEAN member countries, marking a turning point in gender integration and equality in the region.

The Party and State of Vietnam always pay special attention to promoting gender equality, said Mr Doan, adding that Vietnamese women’s status has greatly improved in politics, economics, culture, social and family affairs.

She affirmed that people-elected deputies play a very important role in formulating policies and making laws o­n gender equality as well as overseeing the implementation of these policies and laws. She called o­n parliamentarians to work closer together to incorporate gender issues into national development programmes.

Delegates discussed female parliamentarians’ role and engagement in legislation, decision making and other activities of the legislative body. They made recommendations concerning the establishment of a cooperative mechanism for the region to share information and experiences in law-making and gender integration.

The conference drew the participation of delegates from Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. It was also attended by I Gusti Ayu Darsini, acting general secretary of AIPA and representatives of the United Nations Development Programme, some international organisations and foreign embassies in Hanoi.