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Statement by Ms. Hoang Thi Thanh Nga At the Third Committee On agenda item: advancement of women
10-13-2008, 12:57 pm

Statement by

Ms. Hoang Thi Thanh Nga

At the Third Committee

On agenda item: advancement of women

(October 13, 2008)

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, my delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement made earlier by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of G77 and China. We would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his reports under this agenda item.

Mr. Chairman,

Since the last General Assembly, Member States and the whole United Nations system have taken important steps to promote the “advancement of women” campaign, particularly to eliminate violence against women, empower women, and mainstream gender dimension in national policies. While commending encouraging progress Member States have achieved, we are aware that much remains to be done to ensure better life for women.

Mr. Chairman,

Gender mainstreaming has been one of the main elements of Viet Nam’s campaign for the advancement of women. Since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, every effort has been made to incorporate the gender issue into Government’s policies and strategies on women, and also into long-term national socio-economic development strategies and provincial development plans of action or guidelines.  A lot of projects have been undertaken over the last few years for the purpose of empowering women. As a result, the role of women in political life and decision-making process has been largely improved. Women currently account for 25,76% of the National Assembly, bringing Viet Nam to the 28th in the world and the 3rd in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of women ratio in Parliament. More encouragingly, the rural area has also witnessed a positive trend with the women ratio of 20% in People’s Councils, making an increase of 3% as compared to the previous tenure.

In the field of education and healthcare, Viet Nam is proud of its significant achievement in ensuring equal access to education and healthcare system for women, at both national and local levels. In the school year of 2006-2007, girls accounted for 48% of the total of pupils at primary and secondary schools. With regard to maternal health, over 97% of birth deliveries were assisted by professional and skilled birth attendants, while over 60% of women attended at least 3 ante-natal check-ups and had post-natal care visit. As of 2007, we succeeded in reducing the maternal mortality rate from 200 per 100,000 in 1990 to 80, and we are confident that the target of further reducing to 70 by 2010, as defined by the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved.

Regarding the economic perspective, today women represent 50.2% of the labour force in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture, and 39.4% in the industrial sector. The number of women in managerial positions of both public and private enterprises has been remarkably increased over years. About 1 million of women are managing 25% of Vietnamese companies and businesses, some of them are CEOs of leading corporations such as Vinamilk, REE Corporation, Sai Gon Co-op Corp, etc. The recent Global Summit of Women held in our country in June this year, has seen the active participation of nearly 300 Vietnamese business women in all kinds of topic discussions, particularly those relating to business opportunities for women, women entrepreneurship, women-headed SMEs, women in poverty eradication, etc. In the margin of this Summit, they also organised a forum entitled “Doing business with Viet Nam” where Vietnamese and international business women exchanged information and discussed cooperation opportunities. A lot of business contracts have been initiated since this forum.

Mr. Chairman,

Joining the whole international community’s efforts to put an end to all forms of violence against women, and fully endorsing the Secretary-General’s initiative of launching a multi-year campaign to eliminate violence against women and girls, Viet Nam is doing its utmost to improve legislation regarding this issue and strengthen its implementation. Following the adoption of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence which came into force in this August, a Government Instruction has been recently issued to provide implementation guidelines to all related Ministries and agencies. A national survey on family issues, including domestic violence, was also undertaken in June, which helped us collect data on domestic violence, better understand the main reasons of this persistent situation, and more importantly design curative measures. In addition, many training courses have been held at national and local levels to help women, particularly women in rural and remote areas, understand their rights and actively fight against domestic violence. Public media have been also encouraged to support the Government’s efforts. Viet Nam Television and Radio have a joint project to enhance the effectiveness of media in promoting the implementation of the Law on prevention of Domestic Violence. This project not only focuses on traditional ways such as seminars, training courses, but explores more friendly methodologies, including sitcom, game shows, etc...

Mr. Chairman,

In the years ahead, the Vietnamese Government will still have to make further efforts to improve gender equality, including ensuring equal salaries for working women, equal job opportunities, and equal chance to take part in economic activities and reaching leadership position in the Government. This is not an easy task, particularly in the context of an Asian society. We are confident, however, that in the near future, Vietnamese women will be fully empowered and enjoy what they deserve.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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