UNDP Praises Vietnam for ‘Gradual Progress’ in Promoting Women’s Leadership | Politics

UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam is making gradual progress to increase women’s participation in elected bodies such as the National Assembly and local people’s councils, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen said in an interview with News Agency. of Vietnam (VNA).

Wiesen noted that the results of last year’s elections were “very encouraging” in terms of an increase in the number of women deputies in the National Assembly and provincial people’s councils.

The percentage of women in the 15th National Assembly is now 30.26%, an increase of 3.54% compared to the 14th term. For the 2021-2026 People’s Councils, women represent 29% at the provincial level, 29.08% at the district level and 28.98% at the communal level, all of which are higher than the previous legislature.

However, she said, within the Party and other government leadership structures, women remain underrepresented and there have been unfortunate regressions, citing UNDP research findings which have highlighted several barriers to women’s political participation, such as social norms.

Wiesen therefore pointed out that more efforts are needed from the Vietnamese government to achieve its own goals set by the Vietnamese Communist Party’s 2018 Resolution 26-NQ/TW of having 35% women’s representation in the Assembly. national and people’s councils at all levels by 2030.

Promoting gender equality and strengthening public institutions have been central to UNDP’s mandate and development approach, she said, adding that in 2022, through the new project: ” Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment”, UNDP Vietnam will continue to deepen its engagement and support to the country’s efforts to advance women’s participation in political institutions at all levels.

Strengthen the role of women in rural areas inhabited by ethnic minorities

UNDP commends Vietnam for its Ethnic minority women are expanding their businesses and escaping poverty with IR 4.0 technologies. (Photo: UNDP)

Wiesen praised the Vietnamese government’s efforts to strengthen the role of women in rural and ethnic minority areas.

UNDP Vietnam worked closely with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Welfare (MoLISA) and the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs to build capacity and improve market access for businesses owned to women belonging to ethnic minorities.

Such projects have helped ethnic minority women to design new products, increase quality and productivity, thereby improving their livelihoods and incomes and those of other women in their supply chains, she said. for follow-up.

“Empowering women economically and promoting their financial inclusion in the digital age will play a critical role in helping governments and people achieve a bold, sustainable, resilient and gender-responsive recovery. This, in turn, is fundamental to achieving the SDGs and leaving no one behind in the context of the “new normal” of coexistence with COVID-19[female[feminine“Wiesen said.

The UNDP representative also suggested ways to help Vietnam promote women’s engagement in innovation and economic activities, saying it is crucial to bridge the digital divide where women and girls are likely to fall even further behind.

She highlighted the expansion of access to credit, which is essential for women-led family businesses and micro and small enterprises working in the informal sector, as well as innovative solutions, such as support for service providers. financial services, including banking agents who serve these businesses to provide digital financial services. services to underserved groups, particularly in rural areas and ethnic minorities, are needed.

“These solutions should be designed and implemented in a gender-sensitive manner to address the chronic issues faced by women-led businesses of having less access to credit than men and the risk of widening the “digital divide” between men and women”.

UNDP commends Vietnam for its The UNDP representative says it is crucial to bridge the digital divide where women and girls are likely to fall further behind. (Photo: UNDP)

Other measures include: expanding women’s access to agricultural credit, supporting women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to have stronger linkages in national supply chains /regional and global markets, and improving women’s labor mobility through reskilling and job placement services. as well as overcoming other barriers to mobility that female workers face, such as child/eldercare responsibilities and access to labor market information to smooth employment in sectors experiencing uneven recovery , given slower recovering sectors that employ more female workers, such as tourism and related services , clothing and footwear.

“Just like in politics, women’s participation in innovation and economic activities is crucial in Vietnam’s journey towards sustainable gender equality,” she said. “Increasing the role of women as producers, traders and consumers in the economy has a positive impact on the country’s inclusive growth.”

UNDP is working with the government to create an ecosystem that allows women’s business enterprises to thrive, according to Wiesen.

As Vietnam takes urgent action amid COVID-19 recovery, there is an unprecedented opportunity to put gender equality at the heart of caring for people and the planet, he said. she pointed out.

Firm commitment to promote the participation of women in United Nations peacekeeping operations

UNDP commends Vietnam for its The proportion of women in Vietnamese peacekeeping forces has steadily increased. (Photo: VNA)

Wiesen also hailed Vietnam’s strong commitment to promoting women’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations.

Vietnam sent the first female staff officer to the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan in 2018 and since then the ratio of women in Vietnamese peacekeeping forces has not increased. stopped rising and has now stabilized at higher ratios compared to other countries in the region, she mentioned.

As of March 2022, the number of Vietnamese women serving as UN Military Experts on Mission/Military Observers was 28.4%, 3.4% higher than the target set in the “Uniform Strategy for gender parity 2018-2028” of the UN (25%). Similarly, the ratio of women serving in contingents (3rd rotation of field hospitals) is 17.4%, exceeding the UN target for 2028 (15%).

“With last year’s National Assembly decision, we look forward to female police officers joining Vietnam’s peacekeeping contingents soon,” she said.

As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2020-2021, Vietnam has played an important leadership role in the region and around the world in promoting women in peacekeeping operations and in the broader program on women, peace and security.

Wiesen pledged that UNDP will further strengthen its partnership in supporting Vietnam’s leading role and efforts to advance women’s meaningful participation in UN peacekeeping operations in the region and around the world. /.

Mara R. Wilmoth