Vietnam Praised for Efforts Against Gender Discrimination

An official of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) said the UN has praised the Vietnamese Government’s endeavors in completing legal safeguards toward eliminating discrimination against women.

Vu Ngoc Binh, UNIFEM Coordinator, voiced appreciation at a discussion o­n gender equality and the UN Convention o­n the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Ha Noi o­n Mar.5.

He noted that Vietnam Has passed a number of new legal documents regarding the elimination of discrimination against women and the promotion of gender equality.

Binh said that at its 37th session in February the UN Committee o­n the Elimination of Discrimination against Women also welcomed Vietnam’s adoption of the Law o­n Gender Equality and the National Strategy for the Advancement of Women in the 2001-2010 period as well as revisions to the Land Law and the Law o­n Marriages and Families.

Participating in the discussion, Nguyen Thi Hoai Thu, Vice Director of the Office of the National Committee for the Advancement of Women said that relevant agencies are joining hands in drafting a bill o­n fighting violence in families in addition to outlining action plans regarding gender equality.

The Vietnamese State’s endeavors have resulted in significant outcomes in ensuring gender equality, especially in increasing the number of women in leadership. Vietnam is o­ne of the few Asian countries which have a high number of female deputies in the law-making body, with 25.76 per cent in the 12th Legislature and 22 per cent in the People’s Councils at all level in the 2004 – 2009 terms.

However, for Vuong Thi Hanh, who represents the Gender and Community Development Network (Gencomnet), Vietnamese female leaders have o­nly been found in healthcare, education and labor sectors, not in strategic fields such as research, economic management, and planning and investment.

In order to implement CEDAW, the government should work out a strategy to raise the public awareness o­n the convention and the law o­n gender equality while at the same time outlining mechanisms to effectively execute the law o­n gender equality, Hanh stressed.

UNIFEM Coordinator Binh added that Vietnam should put CEDAW regulations into its legal documents and policies. In addition, the country needs to ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.

CEDAW was adopted by the UN in November 1979 and took effect in September 1981. So far, 185 countries around the world are members of the convention, for which Vietnam joined in July 1980 and ratified two years later.

Women of Vietnam Review No1/2007