Naomi Kitahara - A voice for women and the vulnerable

March 09, 2021 | 11:29
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Acting as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Vietnam since September 2019, Naomi Kitahara, a kind and friendly Japanese woman with more than 23 years of experience in international development, has been spreading the message of international solidarity and giving essential support to women in Vietnam.
naomi kitahara a voice for women and the vulnerable
"I am fascinated by this country and its unique culture and history."

From day one, Kitahara looked forward to working in Vietnam to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, empower women and young people, and make sure they enjoy their own lives.

“I am fascinated by this country and its unique culture and history,” she shared.

Naomi’s love for the land has become a special catalyst for her, as she set out to improve the quality of life for millions of Vietnamese women and girls by promoting youth empowerment and gender equality, and preventing and responding to violence against women and girls, as well as helping women and young people lead healthy sexual lives.

After more than a year since the pandemic took hold, UNFPA Vietnam under the guidance of Kitahara has carried out many meaningful cultural and charitable programmes.

They include holding concerts to honour women and girls and eliminate backward gender stereotypes; supporting reproductive healthcare and sexual health services for women in flood-affected central provinces; providing emergency relief supplies to women and girls at risk of violence; and providing heart monitors and personal protective equipment worth $300,000.

It has also assisted in ensuring the uninterrupted sexual and reproductive healthcare services during the pandemic. In addition, UNFPA Vietnam has supported the elderly with protective equipment and development of a mobile app called S-Health to provide healthcare information and services for them.

With projects organised regularly to target different vulnerable groups, with a focus on women, Naomi and the UNFPA have made significant contributions to bringing a new, different, and happier life to Vietnamese women and assist Vietnam’s fight against the health crisis. The seeds of hope and positive energy that she and the UNFPA have planted and lovingly cultivated will surely bear enduring fruits.

“As we step towards the better future we all want under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, I believe that by joining forces and working together, we can truly make a difference,” she said.

By Hoang Oanh

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