Press Release

19 March 2012

Government - United Nations Joint Programme to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Viet Nam draws to a close

Ha Noi, 19 March, 2012 – The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the United Nations (UN) in Viet Nam organized today in Ha Noi a closing ceremony of the Government-UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality.

The Joint Programme on Gender Equality aimed to improve the capacity of national and provincial authorities and other duty bearers to effectively implement, monitor and evaluate the Law on Gender Equality and the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control. Running from 2009 to 2011, the total budget of the programme was USD4,683,516, of which more than USD4.5 million came from the Spanish Government through the Millennium Development Goal Achievement Fund (MDG-F).

The ceremony brought together more than 150 participants, including policy makers and national experts from MOLISA; the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism; the General Statistics Office; the Ministry of Planning and Investment; the Viet Nam Women’s Union; 12 UN agencies in Viet Nam; bilateral and other multilateral donors; as well as NGOs and the media.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hoa, Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs highlighted that Viet Nam has a long history of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. This process has been clearly reflected in the enactment of the Vietnamese Constitution and legislation, including labour and family legislation. Viet Nam is a signatory to a number of international legal instruments on gender, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). However, institutional capacity in the areas of data collection, gender analysis, implementation, monitoring and reporting on the laws and policies remains weak and the Joint Programme on Gender Equality helped to address these issues.

During the last three years, the Joint Programme on Gender Equality has raised awareness, among government officials, on the gender equality and domestic violence laws and has increased their knowledge on ways to implement, monitor, evaluate and report on these laws. The Joint Programme has also improved the capacity of officials to mainstream gender in the policies and programmes of various sectors, such as education, health, labour and employment, information and communication, and statistical work.

Mr. Bruce Campbell, United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam, emphasized that although a strong policy and legal framework to promote gender equality exists in the country, more still needs to be done to create equal opportunities for women and men to ensure that the existing policies and programmes are implemented at the provincial and local levels.

"We have made important progress. However, there are still a number of important gender differences hindering many women, men, girls and boys in Viet Nam from  reaping the full benefits of  economic and social development and harnessing their fullest individual potential. The goal of achieving gender equality needs to be continually pursued in a coherent, integrated and mutually supportive manner as demonstrated in the Joint Programme on Gender Equality. We are looking forward to continuing the strong partnership that we have established over the last  three years, in our efforts to make a real difference in the lives of Vietnamese people,” said Mr. Campbell.

Gender equality remains an unfinished agenda. Both the Government of Viet Nam and the United Nations arecommitted to working together to support the effective implementation of the National Strategy for Gender Equality (2011-2020) and the National Programme on Gender Equality (2011-2015) and ensuring that women and girls are prioritized in policies and programmes in the coming years.


Notes to editors:

The twelve UN participating in the joint programme are: FAO, ILO, IOM, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIDO, UN Women, UNODC and WHO.

The MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F) was established in December 2006 after the signing of an agreement between the Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation and former UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis. The MDG-F seeks to facilitate the achievement of MDG3 and all other MDGs through interventions addressing three dimensions of gender equality and women’s empowerment: capabilities, access to resources and opportunities, and security. Viet Nam is among seven countries in Asia eligible to apply to the MDG-F for country level support.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Nguyen Thi Dieu Hong
Senior Officer
Tel: (84-4) 393.931.44

Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Thanh
One UN Communications
Tel: (84-4) 3822 4383 – Ext: 117
Mob: 091 309 3363