Female NA deputies in push for gender equality

VietNamNet Bridge - Gender equality should be made a more substantive issue, according to women deputies in the National Assembly.

However, most agreed that progress had been made not o­nly in this area, but also in eliminating domestic violence.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan said women were still not treated to full rights with men at home and in society.

She said much remained to be done to improve the situation in Viet Nam and around the world.

President of women parliamentary delegates, Truong Thi Mai, said that as women represented half the population, this should be reflected in Government.

At present, women make up o­nly 25.7 per cent of the National Assembly deputies, but this is o­ne of the highest rates in Southeast Asia.

According to Suzette Mitchell, UN Development Fund for Children representative, Viet Nam has made strong global commitments to women’s rights, reflected in the creation of the Convention o­n Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Despite the passage of the Law o­n Gender Equality in 2006 and the Law o­n Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence in 2007, Mitchell said Viet Nam had not achieved full equality for women in law and practice.

A survey by the Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs has revealed that female labourers are paid less than men doing the same job. And men are still promoted over women despite being less experienced.

"Almost all female cadres over 51 are not recommended for further training or promoted to higher positions because they will retire at 55, five years earlier than men," said Labour Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

According to some, the lower retirement age violates the Gender Equality Law, adversely affecting women’s incomes and creating an extra social welfare burden.

World Bank director in Viet Nam Victoria Kwakwa said raising the female retirement age would be a step towards true equality.