Statement by Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa,
Chairperson of Viet Nam Women’s Union, Head of Viet Nam’s Delegation
to the Fifty-Second Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
28 February 2008, New York
Ladies and gentlemen,
First, I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Chairperson, and the Bureau on the excellent organization of session and greetings to all participants to the 52nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Allow me to brief you on Viet Nam’s efforts to implement the Beijing Platform for Action and CEDAW.
Viet Nam is committed to women’s advancement and gender equality and considers it an important tool for equity and sustainable development. According to the UN Human Development Report (2007-2008), Viet Nam’s HDI and GDI has significantly increased, and it ranks 105th of 177 and 91st of 157 countries respectively. For the first time ever, Viet Nam is ranked 52nd of 93 on the GEM.
In order to realize these goals the Viet Nam has recently passed two important pieces of legislation to facilitate the advancement of women. They are the Gender Equality Law passed in November 2006 and the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence passed in November 2007, which have taken effect and are currently being implemented.
The contents and spirit of the laws reflect the fundamental principles and provisions of CEDAW. Specifically, the Gender Equality Law defines gender equality in all areas of social and family life, the responsibilities of all agencies, organisations, families and individuals regarding equity, as well as provisions for the oversight, inspection and treatment of violations of gender equality. The Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence aims to contribute to an overall decrease in the rate of domestic violence, and to institutionalize the State’s view on the family. For the first time, all actions falling within the definition of domestic violence, including marital rape, have been regulated. These pieces of legislation not only exemplify the efforts of the State to address women’s advancement, but also constitute one of Viet Nam’s most important achievements towards legislating the constitutional principle of gender equality. We hope that they will be an effective tool of Viet Nam to actively respond to the campaign to eliminate violence against women launched by the Secretary General.
The Ministry of Labor, War invalids and Social affairs has been assigned as the State management Agency on gender equality. In addition, the Department on Gender Equality has been established to guide the implementation of gender equality measures, and to participate in the assessment of gender equality incorporation in the formulation of legal documents. The Government has also decided to further strengthen NCFAW’s work for the advancement of women in Viet Nam in term of human resource and authority. Further more, the National Women’s Congress was successfully organized in October 2007. The Congress is further strengthening the role of the Viet Nam Women’s Union, as well as women’s movements and programs through the next five years.
In recognizing the role and contributions of women to national development in Viet Nam, many efforts have been made to promote women to leadership positions especially in the National Assembly. Gender equality consultations with relevant agencies, IEC activities, and trainings for first-time female candidates have contributed to this effort. The present ratio of women in the National Assembly at 25.76% ranks Viet Nam 28th in the world and the 3rd in the Asia-Pacific region.
In January 2007, Viet Nam was among the few UN state parties to present a 5th and 6th Report to the CEDAW Committee, strictly fulfilling its obligations. In response the CEDAW Committee commended the progress being made and offered many recommendations for further action in Viet Nam. The implementation of CEDAW is considered one of the most effective international treaties to be ratified by Viet Nam.
Despite these positive steps for women in Viet Nam, as a developing country it continues to face challenges in working towards women’s advancement and gender equality. For example, gender bias still exists in certain parts of society, there is a gap between policies and practice, and negative effects of rapid development and globalisation are widespread. Therefore, as possibly one of five nations most affected by global climate change, Viet Nam appreciates that “gender perspectives on climate change,” will be heard as an emerging issue in the 52nd CSW Session. In these causes, Viet Nam is in need of support from the international community and the UN for both technical assistance as well as resources to address the negative effects of globalization in general and climate changes in particular on women.
In order to realize our goals for gender equality and the advancement of women, we must continue to create opportunities for further cooperation.
Thank you for your attention.