ASEAN, EU hold dialogue on gender equality and women empowerment

Monday, 2018-10-22 17:20:41
 Font Size:     |        Print

Delegates join a group photo at the dialogue. (Photo: VNA)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – A dialogue on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls took place in Hanoi on October 22, focusing on implementing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 5 aimed at promoting gender equality at work.

The event was hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), the ASEAN Secretariat, and the EU Delegation and the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) programme, as part of activities under the ongoing 3rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women in Hanoi.

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, Kung Phoak, stated that the bloc is committed to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls as reflected in ASEAN Community Vision 2025, as well as other key documents. He also affirmed that 2017 was a successful year for ASEAN in honouring women.

MoLISA Deputy Minister, Nguyen Thi Ha, emphasised that gender equality in the workplace is one of the important solutions to promote economic power for women and a premise to increase their role in all aspects of socio-political and economic life.

Vietnam has developed legal frameworks to promote the empowerment of women in the economy through career education, job creation, and support for women who run businesses, in addition to facilitating gender equality in the workplace.

It is estimated that approximately 50% of female workers are trained in vocational training projects for rural workers. The employment rate of women in the total number of employed workers is maintained at over 48%. Many localities have built the "Women Startup" Fund and the percentage of women in business ownership is more than 30%. As a result, gender equality in employment has improved significantly, enhancing substantive gender equality in rights and opportunities between men and women.

In addition, the Government of Vietnam has issued a National Action Plan to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the implementation of SDG 5 on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Deputy Minister Ha emphasised that gender equality has made progress in the region and in each member country, but there are still many things that need to be done to address the current challenges, as the employment quality of female workers is not sustainable and their average income is lower than that of male colleagues, while gender stereotypes do exist in the employment and work selection of men and women and the barriers in balancing between work and life are still difficulties that exist in the world of work for women.

In terms of social security, employment and social insurance for women are crucial to gender equality at work as stated in SDG 5.

As an active and responsible member of the ASEAN Community, Vietnam strongly supports cooperation and sharing of experience on how to promote gender equality and empower women in the two regions.

In addition to actively participating in regional activities, Vietnam is also coordinator of the project "Integrating gender into labor and employment policies to promote decent work for all" during 2018-2020. The activity was proposed by Vietnam and has received support from the ASEAN Committee on Women. Under the project, countries in the region can shape the status of gender equality, while further strengthening gender mainstreaming in the labour and employment sector, thus contributing to promoting gender equality towards decent work for all.