Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) 75 years of growth and development

Founded in October 20, 1930, today, VWU is 75 years old. Over the past 75 years, the Union has grown up in strength. The nation-wide emulation movement launched by the Union has attracted millions of women throughout the country, contributing to the national patriotic emulation movements, raising the status and position of the women and the women’s union as well.

During the period of 1930- 1945, VWU was known with different names, such as the Liberalization Women’s Union (1931 - 1945), the Anti-imperialism Women’s Union (1936-1938), the Democratic Women’s Union (1939-1940), and National Salvation Women’s League (1941-1945). All these organizations had undertaken the common task of mobilizing women nationwide to take part in the anti-feudalism and anti-imperialism movements led by the Communist Party to struggle for the power of the people.


In May 1950, the first National Women’s Congress was held and it decided to turn the National Salvation Women’s League into the VWU and made it a unique political organization of women in Vietnam. At that time, VWU’s membership already mounted to 3 million and there were 10 women out of total of 403 members of the National Assembly’s first Tenure of the then Democratic Republic of Vietnam. VWU had encouraged its members across the country to actively participate in the process of the National construction and anti-French colonial resistance war to defending successfully the young state.


During the period of 1955 -1975, VWU mobilized recourses to contribute to the national efforts to heal the wound of the French resistance War and to build socialism in the North as well as to support the people in South to fight against the American imperialist invasion and to ultimately unify the country. At that time, VWU initiated many campaigns of emulation all over the country such as “5 good performances” (in March 1961) with the following contents:

- Good at union, production and saving

- Good at executing the policies.

- Good at taking part in management

- Good at political, cultural and technical studying.

- Good at building happy family and bringing up children.


In March 8 1965, VWU had initiated “3 responsibilities” with the following contents:

- Responsibility for the production

- Responsibility for the household

- Responsibility for serving the fight and be ready to fight.


These moves had been morally encouraged women in every part of the country in their labor, combat, study, and family everyday life.


From 1976 to 1985, it was the post war period when the country became unified and started a new task of recovering over the aftermath of war and mobilizing resources for the national economic development. In tune with the national efforts, VWU launched successfully a campaign titled “ New typed women in the national construction and defense”.


The National Renovation initiated since 1986 has gained great achievement in promoting the socio-economic development. In March 1989, VWU launched 2 movements “Mutual national assistance among women in household economic development” and “ Good at children bringing up and contributing to the reduction of child malnutrition and school drop-out. In the seventh National Women’s Congress, 1992, VWU h ad mapped out 5 key programs, focusing o­n raising knowledge and building capacity for VWU to address policy makers, encourage women for mutual assistance in household economic development, and to create income generating activities for women.


From 1997 up to present, VWU at all strata has step by step renewed its operational content and modes by implementing the “5 key programs” and “ 2 nation-wide women’s movements” launched by VWU at the 8thNational Women’s Congress held in May 1997.


The ninth National Women’s Congress (in January 2002) had launched the movement “Women actively study, creatively work and building happy families”


In each state of Vietnamese history, VWU has always fulfilled its duties and tasks for the sake ofthe country and the women. VWU has gradually strengthened its organizational structure, renewed its activities as well as expended the membership. At the same time, VWU has developed international cooperation and assistance to support the Vietnamese efforts to improve women status in the family as well as the society.


These efforts and contribution of the VWU have been highly appreciated by leaders of the State and the Party. Late President Ho Chi Minh confirmed:“ The carpeted country of Vietnam has been woven by the women, both young and old, with their heartfelt efforts to become more wonderful”. Furthermore, o­n the occasion of its 65th anniversary of foundation, VWU was also awarded a curtain o­n which reads, “ Vietnamese women are faithful, resourceful, talent and heroic” by the Vietnam Communist Party. From 1974 up to present, various awards have been conferred to VWU and its cadres such as: Ho Chi Minh Order, Golden Star Order, The Order of Bronze Wall, Labor Order and Independent Order.

By Nguyen Ha