Gender equality promoted in ethnic minority mountain regions

Chia sẻ

(VOVWORLD) - Promoting gender equality, particularly in ethnic minority mountain regions, is one of the key tasks to ensure sustainable national development. The Vietnamese Party and State have implemented guidelines, policies, and programs on gender equality, including the ‘Project on ensuring gender equality and addressing urgent problems for women and children’, known as Project 8.

In October, 2021, the Government approved Project 8, one of 10 major projects under the National Target Program for socio-economic development in ethnic minority mountain areas in the 2021-2030 period. The project is currently being implemented in 50 cities and provinces.

Project 8 –first project to address gender issues in ethnic areas

Project 8 is designed to promote and ensure that women of all ethnic groups in Vietnam have access to equal development opportunities and to address urgent gender-based issues of ethnic minority women. This is the first project approved by the National Assembly that is focused specifically on gender issues. The Government tasked the Vietnam Women's Union with implementing the project and allocated substantial resources to it.

Ha Thi Nga, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women's Union and Head of the Executive Committee of Project 8, said: "The project's beneficiaries are ethnic minority women and girls in extremely disadvantaged communes and villages, with special priority given to ethnic minority girls in poor and near-poor households. Beneficiaries also include victims of human trafficking, violence, and sexual abuse, migrant women, at-risk working women, women returning from foreign marriages, and women with disabilities. These target groups need special attention and care and specialized policy mechanisms to give them the best development conditions and environment."

The project aims to raise awareness, change prejudices, improve lives, protect and care for women and children, realize gender equality goals, and find  effective solutions to urgent issues affecting women and children in ethnic minority mountain areas in the 2021-2030 period.

Nguyen Thanh Cam, Permanent Member of the National Assembly's Committee for Social Affairs, said: "We also have programs to support vocational training, job placement, and funding to create livelihoods for women, especially in ethnic minority areas. Through these activities, women can develop economically, have a voice, and become more aware of their rights."

Encouraging results

Ethnic minorities in mountain regions account for 14.3% of Vietnam’s population. In recent years, Vietnam has obtained remarkable achievements in promoting gender equality and ensuring the rights of ethnic minority women. The proportion of female officials and civil servants, including those of ethnic minorities, participating in the public sector is increasing. According to the United Nations Agency for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), in 2023 Vietnam’s Northern Midland and mountain areas had the highest proportion of ethnic minority women working in Party agencies, People's Councils, administrative agencies, and political organizations, followed by the Central Highlands, the North Central region, and the Central Coast.

Party and State guidelines and policies on ethnic minority mountain areas, along with the Gender Equality Law has given new rights and opportunities to ethnic minority women and girls.

Ms. Sung Y Thanh of the Mong ethnic group of Pa Co commune, Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh province, said: "In the past, women stayed at home to take care of their children or worked in the fields. Now many have careers. I’m financially independent. My family is very egalitarian."

A Râl Thi Huong My of the Gia Rai ethnic group, a student at Nguyen Ba Ngoc Secondary Boarding School for Ethnic Minorities in Chu A Thai commune, Phu Thien district, Gia Lai province, said: "Joining the Club of Leaders of Change has given me more knowledge and changed my thinking about outdated customs like child marriage and consanguineous marriage. At our age we need to go to school, not get married."

Ensuring gender equality, particularly in ethnic minority mountain areas, is one of Vietnam's development goals. Project 8 and other action programs and national strategies on gender equality are helping Vietnam achieve this goal.