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Women and girls: Center of post-Covid-19 recovery
Linh Pham 21:55, 2021/02/18
Participants explored how to embed better policies and practices, both within their organizations and in their programmatic work.

Women and girls should be placed at the center of socio-economic recovery in the face of the pandemic, reported at a virtual meeting of the International Gender Champions (IGC) – Paris Hub on February 18.

 There remains much to say in gender equality practice. Source: Nguyen Vu Xuan Lan

“We are in 2021, we know that the pandemic hits women and girls harder - we must have stronger IGC Commitments to face this head-on and hold each other accountable,” IGC tweeted.

Participants of the event are representatives of the International Organization of La Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), UNESCO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Generation Equality Forum, and many countries, including Vietnam.

They shared that the Covid-19 pandemic has been worsening inequality, undermining the achievements in narrowing the gender gap in recent years, and posing many challenges to women such as job losses, the digital and gender leadership gap widened in both the state and private sectors, gender-based violence, and the shortage of resources for women empowerment programs.

Participants discussed and explored how to embed better policies and practices, both within their organizations and in their programmatic work.

For that reason, it is necessary to have an overall approach that closely associates gender equality with social progress and growth for sustainable, inclusive and resilient development.

The delegates committed to make more efforts to boost gender equality via increasing international cooperation, exchanging experience, devising measures, and attracting resources for promoting women’s role and contributions.

 Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to UNESCO. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam affirms women empowerment policy

So far, Vietnam has contributed to shape gender-equitable post-Covid-19 world.

Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to UNESCO made a statement at the IGC meeting that the country has affirmed its consistent policy on promoting gender equality and women’s role in the national development.

Speaking at the network of decision makers, male and female, who have committed to breaking down gender barriers, Van highlighted Vietnam’s efforts to boost cooperation in promoting gender equality and women empowerment in 2020.

Accordingly, as Chair of ASEAN in 2020, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, and Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Vietnam has contributed to the successful hosting of the 1st ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit, the ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Strengthening Women’s Role for Sustainable Peace and Security, and the International Conference on Women, Peace and Security.

The results helped step up international efforts in the promotion of gender equality in 2020, which marked the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and also the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Van noted.

In an interview with Hanoitimes, Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Head of Office, UN Women in Vietnam, in the past 25 years, the country has made very important achievements in terms of advancing women rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality.

The country has developed very strong framework on legislation to address the key agreements - international agreements on gender equality in line with the Beijing Platform for Action.

Vietnam has for example amended the Constitution to make sure that this consideration was included and that followed the development of legislation, for example the gender equality law, the law to prevent domestic violence, and the national strategy for gender equality.

In Vietnam, women constitute 47.7% of labor force. Women make up 26.5% of business owners and CEOs. These are the results of the country’s continuous efforts to protect and fulfil the rights of all people without discrimination.

However, gender gap remains far from full equality in Vietnam, said Elisa Fernandez Saenz.

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