Women’s empowerment key to gender equality

March 08, 2022 | 16:16
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According to the World Bank’s Report on Women, Business, and Law in 2022, Vietnam ranked 58 out of 190 countries in providing economic opportunities to women, surpassing both Singapore and the Philippines. This is a remarkable milestone to encourage more efforts to further enhance the status of women in the family, society, and economy.

To celebrate International Women’s Day and women’s empowerment progress, Unilever Vietnam, with the participation from leading organisations and corporations, such as UN Women, Vietnam Central Women's Union, HSBC Bank, Saigon Co.op, and Meta, organised a webinar on unlocking opportunities and creating an environment to facilitate women’s development.

Women’s empowerment key to gender equality
The workshop had the aim of honouring the values of Vietnamese women and celebrating International Women's Day

The workshop aimed at honouring the values of Vietnamese women and celebrating International Women's Day and recognising the progress on women's empowerment through inspirational stories about the efforts and achievements in women's career and business performance.

The workshop, thereby, would like to inspire like-minded businesses and organisations to support women to unleash their potential, confidently pursue their passions, develop careers, and ultimately gain economic autonomy.

Within the workshop, Unilever Vietnam and guests from organisations discussed practical solutions and action plans via for more job opportunities for women, inclusive and equal working environments along with policies to support women, and training and coaching opportunities, as well as access to financial sources and digital technology platforms so that women are equipped with skills and knowledge.

“Unilever has committed to empowering one million Vietnamese women to develop and achieve more in life by 2025. As we hold a belief that everyone has the right to lead life the way they wish; everyone has the freedom to study, work and pursue their passions. And it is Unilever’s desire to stand by Vietnamese people, especially women, to actualise these goals. That's the reason why we always include women’s empowerment in our action plans,” said Nguyen Thi Bich Van, chairwoman at Unilever Vietnam.

Since 2007, Unilever Vietnam has collaborated closely with the Vietnam Central Women's Union to implement a long-term strategic programme on improving women’s capacity through business development and healthcare education to help women outline and develop their own potential while also enhancing their economic autonomy.

Within 15 years of implementation, the programme has supported 3.7 million Vietnamese women in improving their health, sanitation, and social security. Unilever's total budget for promoting women's empowerment activities is $10 million.

In 2021 alone, the programme "Women do business" initiated by Unilever Vietnam’s Sunlight brand incorporated with the Vietnam Central Women's Union provided online and offline training for nearly 45,000 women and gained over 10 million reaches through communication programmes in inspiring women to confidently do business and pursue their passions.

Unilever Vietnam’s Sunlight brand also coordinates with Meta in training business knowledge and digital transformation skills to help women confidently start and do business.

“Economic autonomy not only enables women to take care of themselves and their beloved ones, but it is also a testament to women's rise from the strength and ability to take control over their own lives. Unilever Vietnam understands that technology is a great resource to support women to do their work in a more convenient way; to assist women operate their businesses more efficiently, and above all, to facilitate women to have more time for themselves and their families. Their life will therefore become more fulfilled and happier,” said Nguyen Thi Mai, vice president of Homecare Marketing at Unilever Vietnam.

Internally, Unilever Vietnam has been constantly doing its utmost in creating a diverse, inclusive, and equal working environment to help women unleash their own capabilities and assert their position. Currently, 53 per cent of manager and supervisor positions at Unilever Vietnam are taken by females.

Women’s empowerment key to gender equality
Unilever Vietnam is always active in creating an inclusive, equal, and empowering environment for women

Unilever Vietnam was honoured to receive the award "Outstanding businesses committed to gender equality at the workplace" at CSI 2021 Sustainable Businesses in Vietnam and be the winner of “Gender-responsive marketplace” by the UN Women’s 2021 WEPs Awards.

Those efforts and recognitions help Unilever not only realise its commitments in improving people's health and living conditions, thus contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world within the company's sustainable development agenda, but also support the fifth United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality.

By Mai Dang

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