Seminar seeks way to enhance women’s role in international integration

Wednesday, 2018-12-05 16:33:20
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The seminar discusses solutions to promote gender equality and enhance the role of women in the context of Vietnam’s profound international integration and the fourth Industrial Revolution. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)
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NDO – Extensive international integration and the blooming trend of the fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4) are the foundation for Vietnam to promote the positive results it has achieved in gender equality and women empowerment.

The statement was made at a seminar held in Hanoi, on December 5, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnam Women's Union, as part of a project on strengthening women's participation in politics in Vietnam, sponsored by the Asia Foundation.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Phuong Nga, the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women in Vietnam has huge potential for further development, reflected in the increasingly improved policies and legal frameworks aimed at enhancing the role of women in every aspect of society.

On the international level, women and girls are also benefiting from a new, more comprehensive, and deeper approach to gender equality, which is gender equality in association with sustainable peace and development. According to the diplomat, the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continue to facilitate the empowerment of Vietnamese women in political, economic, cultural and social aspects.

However, there are also challenges for women, especially in the context of IR4. The perception on the status of women in society, families, agencies and schools has changed slowly. Social prejudice, the male centred perception and a lack of self-esteem in women still put them in a more disadvantaged status, not to mention the majority of the current female workforce is still simple labourers with underdeveloped skills and unstable employment and salaries, in addition to issues concerning gender violence and equality for women to take leading roles.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Phuong Nga speaks at the event. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)

To address these issues, Deputy Minister Nga said that the advanced international view on gender equality should be promoted in Vietnam, which is that women are not only beneficiaries of policies, but must be involved in policy making and implementation. This is not just a human rights issue, but also a source of development, as investing in women and promoting gender equality is also investing in sustainable development, as stated in the general spirit of the 2030 Agenda and the SGDs.

Specifically, favourable policies for women must be based on equality, such as equal opportunities for employment, advancement and retirement age, or opportunities for women to determine the policies related to them. In addition, attention should be paid to priority areas, such as the education on cognitive transformation, the application of IT and modern communication to the fight against violence against women and girls, and the promotion of vocational training, professional skills and leadership for women.

According to Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga, Vice Chair of the Vietnam National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation, it is important to integrate gender equality not only in domestic socio-economic development policies, but also in the planning and implementation of digital development and international integration plans.

Ambassador Nga, who is also Vice President of the post-2020 APEC vision group, suggested actively grasping and taking advantage of new opportunities in international linkages, as well as the implementation of the relevant international commitments to create more motivation for gender equality in Vietnam, with a focus on building the ASEAN Community 2025 and implementing commitments and international norms on gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in SDGs 2030 and new-generation free-trade agreements.