Looking forwards to the 11th Vietnam National Women’s Congress

The 11th Vietnam National Women’s Congress will be convened during 11th - 14th March 2012 at the Hanoi Friendship Cultural Palace with the participation of 1,157 participants (including 985 delegates and 172 guests).

This is an important political event, marking VWU’s new step in bringing into full play women’s roles, tapping their potentials and creativity to contribute to the accelerated national industrialization & modernization and international integration. The Congress will review the performance and achievements of the Vietnam women’s movements and VWU in the past term (2007 – 2012) and define VWU’s directions and main tasks in the next term (2012 - 2017).

The process of women’s congresses at the commune, district and provincial levels

Over the past year, the Central Vietnam Women’s Union has actively guided the women’s unions of different levels o­n the organizing of their congresses, such as instructions o­n the Congress’ contents, women needs assessment, workshops to define the directions and tasks for the next term. VWU has also made preparation o­n personnel issue, trained provincial key staff o­n Congress organization, reviewed all the reports to be presented by provincial WUs to their Congresses, assigned members of the VWU’s Presidium and National Executive Committee to provide close guidance to provincial WU congresses. The congresses of commune-level were all completed in June 2011, those of district level in September and provincial level in the last quarter of the year. By mid-January 2012, the women’s congresses of 3 levels had been organized in all the 63 provinces/cities and the VWU’s subordinate units.

Preparing for the National Congress

Along with guiding the local women’s congresses, the Central VWU has been actively preparing for the National Congress, especially in draftingthe political report, receiving comments on the report and revising it accordingly; and amending the VWU’s statutes. To be responsive to the requirements for the renewal of the VWU’s contents and modes of ativities in the current context, the statutes have been updated and revised in terms of the membership, the rights of members, member organizations, permanent bodies of VWU of different levels, tasks and responsibilities of the VWU’s National Executive Committee and Presidium, those of executive committees and standing committee of the WUs of provincial, district and commune levels, membership fees, etc.

Key features of the National Congress political report

To contribute to the successful realization of the renewal policy stance of the Party, the National Strategy o­n Gender Equality 2011-2020 and Vietnam Government’s commitments to international communities o­n gender equality and women’s advancement, with the theme “Unity, Creativity, Integration and Development”, the draft report by VWU’s National Executive Committee to be presented to the Congress has defined the goals for the next term as “To unify and mobilize women to bring into full play their inner strengths, to proactively and enthusiastically participate in socio-economic development and national defense; To build-up happy and sustainable families; To improve women’s material and spiritual life; To cultivate the Vietnamese women of patriotism, health, knowledge, working skills, resourcefulness, creativity, cultured life-style and kind-heartedness; To build VWU’s strong organization and ability to play fully its key role in women’s activities and gender equality realization”.

The Congress will appeal to the women nationwide to continue carrying out the emulation movement “Women study actively, work creatively and nurture happy families” integrated with the movement of learning and following the fine virtues of Ho Chi Minh; to expand and intensify the campaign “Building the family of 5 Without-s and 3 Clean-s” (Without poverty, law violation and social evils, domestic violence, giving birth to the third child or more, having malnourished and school drop-out children; clean house, kitchen and surrounding lanes); and to promote and strive for the moral qualities “Self-confidence, Self-respect, Faithfulness, Resourcefulness”.

The Congress will define the next period’s main tasks, namely: Providing communication, education and mobilization of women to implement laws and policies, to uphold fine virtues and to enhance their capacity and awareness; Mobilizing and assisting women in nurturing happy and sustainable families; Mobilizing and assisting women in economic development, sustainable poverty reduction and environmental protection; Advising and proposing, participating in the formulation, provision of social counter-arguments to laws and policies o­n gender equality, and in supervision of their enforcement; Building and developing VWU’s strong organization; and Strengthening international relations and cooperation.

Besides, VWU will continue implementing the programs “Supporting women in vocational training and employment creation during 2010-2015 period”, “Education of 5 million mothers to bring up well their children”, Information, Education and Communication o­n the fine virtues of Vietnamese women in the period of national industrialization, modernization 2010-2015; Providing the Vietnam Women’s Newspaper to the commune women’s unions and women’s chapters in the areas of special difficulties. VWU will also develop, submit to the Prime Minister for approval and implement new programs such as Information, education and communication to improve women’s legal awareness, Education and training of WU’ staff of different levels to meet the Government’s qualification standards, Improving the quality of family relations and supporting to build-up happy, sustainable families, Developing community-based family daycare groups; Building the Centers for Women’s Development in the Mekong delta and central region; Developing Women TV program.

Activities/events to welcome the National Congress

To prepare for the National Congress, VWU has reviewed the selected operation models and successful stories in implementing the VWU’s main tasks, emulation movements, campaigns and special projects to welcome the upcoming Congress. The WUs of different levels have been active in organizing practical and significant activities in honor of the Congress. Especially VWU launched a special emulation program “For disadvantaged women and children” aiming at building 3,000 affection houses for the women who are poor, single, disabled and facing special difficulties and granting 1,000 scholarships for poor students and children of soldiers serving in border and island areas for their study achievements despite difficulties. This special program is to be implemented nationwide from 1st January to 30 June 2012. Right after the launching, the staff of the Central VWU actively responded to the program by having donated each from 1-day wage to 1-month salary. The total donation reached over 900 million VND. At the local level, in response to this launch, after the first 2 months of the year, provincial WUs have mobilized 20.5 billion VND for the Affection House Fund and 5 billion VND for the Child Education Promotion Fund. This special emulation program is the follow-up step of the VWU’s Affection House Mobilization Campaign launched in 2008. This campaign has won active response and valuable support from women nationwide, corporate sector, agencies and organizations in the country and abroad. After nearly 4 years, WUs of central and provincial levels have mobilized nearly 200 thousand billion VND to build about 12,000 houses and repair 3,000 houses for poor, single, disabled women and women in special difficulties, helping them improve the living conditions and better integrate with the community.

At the threshold of the National Congress, the Central VWU organized a number of associated events. A tele-conference was held o­n the issues of Women and Family, Vocational training and Employment between VWU and representatives from the Ministries of Labor, War Invalids & Social Affairs; Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Agriculture & Rural Development to exchange information and improve the effectiveness of inter-sectoral cooperation in the upcoming tenure. A ceremony (with live broadcast) was organized to confer the Kovalevskaia Award 2011 to 2 female scientists, present affection houses to 26 poor women representing more than 3,000 disadvantaged poor women, award 1,000 scholarships worth 2 billion VND to the students who have high achievements despite their difficulties, and confer merit certificates to 8 collectives for their valuable support to the VWU’s activities in 2012. Also, VWU in collaboration with the Central Documentary and Scientific Film Studio VWU has had a documentary film produced and presented prior to the Congress, and conducted wide media communication o­n the Congress.

Those significant activities have created an exciting atmosphere before the Congress and left strong impressions in different women strata and the entire society o­n the role, position and contributions of the Vietnamese women and VWU.

Women from different corners of Vietnam and overseas have been looking forwards to the important political event, their big festival. As a result of good preparation and the active response from women throughout the country, the XIth Women’s National Congress will be successfully organized, opening-up a new stage of development for the women’s advancement and gender equality in Vietnam.

International Relations Department