National Programme of Action to Promote Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
The Programme of Action aims to enhance multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary coordination and collaboration among all line ministries and agencies at different levels, and improve the effectiveness of state management on gender equality.
The Programme lists a series of activities to be undertaken by ministries and agencies at all levels in order to improve women’s access to additional educational opportunities, and develop their vocational skills and knowledge to enhance their employment opportunities. The Programme intends to strengthen the capacity and accountability of government officials and staff in areas related to gender equality and gender mainstreaming. It also supports development of pilot models on gender equality for implementation in some localities; as well as education and communication activities related to the Law on Preventing Domestic Violence. Importantly, the Programme establishes gender-sensitive indicators for evaluating gender equality implementation in the field of education and training, amongst others.
“This Programme of Action also sets a legal foundation for the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and other line ministries to coordinate in developing a National Strategy on Gender Equality for the period 2011-2020, and a National Target Programme on Gender Equality for the period 2011-2015 in order to help Viet Nam become one of the most progressive countries in the region in terms of gender equality,” said Mr. Pham Ngoc Tien, Director of the Gender Equality Department of MOLISA.
Aiming to better implement the law and ensure gender equality, the government has also issued three important decrees. Decree 70 of 4 June 2008 provides details for the enforcement of relevant stipulations of the Gender Equality Law. It establishes the responsibilities of ministries, ministerial-level agencies and people’s committees in implementing the law and provides specific guidelines on gender equality.
On the other hand, Decree 48 of 19 May 2008 specifies the requirements, contents and forms of information, education and communication about gender and gender equality. In addition, it indicates that gender should be mainstreamed in all legal documents by national and local authorities. Decree 48 requires the participation of the national gender machinery, such us the Women’s
Decree 55, issued on 10 June 2009, sets out administrative acts, penalties, procedures and the jurisdiction related to penalties for both intentional and unintentional violations of provisions of the Gender Equality Law.
Despite this legal framework, the implementation of the Law on Gender Equality Law and the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control has faced several challenges, especially in terms of capacity building of all relevant bodies on gender equality and gender mainstreaming. To address this issue, the Government of Viet Nam and the United Nations launched last March the Joint Programme on Gender. During the first ten months of implementation, this programme has raised awareness among government officials of the two laws and has increased their knowledge of ways to implement, monitor, evaluate and report on these regulations. Gender has been mainstreamed in different sectors and documents, including in the labour force survey and the agriculture and rural survey currently being carried out by MOLISA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, respectively.