Australia offers training to promote gender equality initiatives in Vietnam

Tuesday, 2018-05-15 16:04:45
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Australia launched a training course on May 15 to support officials in several key Vietnamese ministries and agencies in promoting gender equality initiatives in Vietnam. (Photo:
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NDO – Mid-level managers from several key Vietnamese ministries and agencies have been offered the opportunity to participate in a short-term course within the Australian Government scholarship programme to promote gender equality initiatives in Vietnam.

The Australian Government, through its Vietnam-Australia Human Resource Development Partnership (Aus4Skills), a component of the Australia-Vietnam Development Cooperation Programme (Aus4Vietnam), launched the training course in Hanoi on May 15, under the framework of a seminar on enhancing gender equal outcomes in development initiatives that opened this morning.

Speaking at the seminar, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women's Union, emphasised that gender equality and promoting women's participation in development are always a priority for each country. Vietnam has made great strides in building a legal framework for implementing gender equality. As a result, the nation has witnessed significant progress in gender equality, with the National Assembly's female deputies accounting for 26.8%, and having the first ever National Assembly Chairwomen, along with three female Politburo members, females with tertiary level education at 46.6%, and a stable female participation rate in the labour market at 48-49%.

However, according to Ha, there are still big issues related to gender equality in Vietnam, such as limited gender-based legal documents, the high proportion of female workers in the informal sector, and issues of violence, abuse and a wide income gap between men and women.

Ha expressed her hope that Vietnamese officials joining the course would apply the skills and knowledge shared to advance gender equality in Vietnam, thus bringing about socio-economic benefits through the increased participation of women in the economy.

The course aims to promote Australia’s support for Vietnam in encouraging gender equality and achieving the goals under its National Strategy for Gender Equality during 2011-2020. The strategy’s main objectives are supporting women in leadership, economic empowerment and women's safety, which are also priorities of the Australian Government.

Australia's support is implemented through two main approaches, including the Gender Equality Strategy for Vietnam launched by the Australian Government in 2016, requiring all Australian governmental agencies in Vietnam to carry out and report on their activities related to promoting gender equality in Vietnam; and secondly, Australia has set a target that women would benefit substantially from Aus4Vietnam's aid investments in all areas.

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Craig Chittick, said that gender equality and women's empowerment are an important facet of the partnership between Australia and Vietnam. The economic and social benefits of empowering women to their full potential are vast and greater economic integration will benefit all. This is especially true when Vietnam is a regional leader in the participation of women in the labour force and in education, the diplomat affirmed.

After six days on a pre-course course in Vietnam, trainees will take further training in Australia for two weeks to explore modern methods and techniques to integrate gender equality effectively into their projects. Upon returning to Vietnam, trainees are expected to apply their new knowledge and experience of gender mainstreaming in the programmes they undertake.

The course is part of the Aus4Vietnam programme, which consists of six components, including Aus4Equality, Aus4Innovation, Aus4Reform, Aus4Skills, Aus4Transport, and Aus4Water. Under the Aus4Equality alone, Australia has committed to provide US$35 million in support for women in leadership, empowerment, and gender equality in Vietnam during 2017-2022.