Making a difference in gender equality

February 15, 2021 | 08:00
Vietnam has achieved remarkable results in implementing gender equality. However, gender equality remains a major challenge for Vietnam.
making a difference in gender equality
By Elisa Fernandez Saenz - UN Women representative in Vietnam

Vietnamese women still have lower wages than men and face huge barriers in their career development, and they are discriminated against when entering the job market. Traditional expectations of responsibility for family care, gender stereotypes in recruitment, and gender discrimination in the workplace are preventing many female workers from competing in the job market on an equal footing with male colleagues. Women-owned businesses also face obstacles to participate in business activities, including limited access to resources, low quality of human resources, insufficient knowledge, and skills on ICT and facing gender stereotypes related to families and businesses.

In the past 10 years we have supported Vietnam in key areas for gender equality and women empowerment that we think can really make a difference for gender equality in the country. Our most important success is that we have supported the Vietnamese government to strengthen the legal framework to promote gender equality because we must have laws and policies that are consistent with international standards on gender equality. The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women is one of the most important international standards. This is a convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination between women and children and it was ratified by the Vietnamese government in 1982.

The most remarkable thing is that we have worked hand in hand with the Vietnamese government to bring together the government and social organisations as well as development partners in a dialogue.

making a difference in gender equality

Over the past ten years operating in Vietnam, we have supported effectively in key areas for gender equality and women empowerment that we think can really make a different advance gender equality in the country.

Aiming at eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and girls, UN Women focuses on five focus areas: the elimination of violence against women and girls; economic empowerment for women; minimising risks of natural disasters and responding to climate change; strengthening leadership of Vietnamese women, ensuring the principle of not leaving anyone behind with gender content integrated in many programmes; ensuring different groups of women such as ethnic minority women, disabled women, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community still receive support.

Currently, we are assisting the Vietnamese government to develop the national strategy on gender equality. The old strategy ended at the end of last year and we have worked with the new one for the 2021-2030 period.

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