Vietnam News/Asia News Network
Leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold a special session within the framework of the 36th ASEAN Summit on Friday to discuss women’s empowerment in the digital age for the first time.
The session, initiated by Việt Nam, aims to affirm ASEAN leaders’ commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s role in the building of the ASEAN Community and the socio-economic development of the bloc.
It also marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
At the third ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (AMMW), themed 'Social Protection for Women and Girls: Towards the ASEAN Community Vision 2025' in Hanoi in 2018, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said women and girls play an important role in ASEAN Community building, noting they must have equal rights in both family and society.
Since ASEAN was established in 1967, women have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of member countries.
They have worked hard to improve their position, with the establishment of the ASEAN Community Women’s Circle in Hanoi in 2015, grouping wives and female officials of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representative offices of the ASEAN member countries in Hanoi.
Over the past five years, the group has organized cultural activities and people-to-people exchanges, enhancing intra-bloc connectivity.
The ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR) was also formed in the Philippines in 2018 to promote women’s participation and contributions to peace processes, the settlement of traditional and non-traditional security challenges emerging in the region, and the implementation of ASEAN leaders’ Joint Statement on Women, Peace and Security in 2017.
Vietnam has gained remarkable achievements in gender equality, which have contributed to spurring national socio-economic development.
To promote gender equality and increase social security for women and girls, the Government has implemented and integrated relevant regional initiatives and priorities into national programs and projects.
It spends about 2.6 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) each year on policies and programs on social assistance covering women and girls.
The country has made efforts in implementing the Law on Gender Equality 2006 and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
A national strategy on gender equality for 2011-20 was promulgated to raise public awareness of the importance of gender equality, narrowing the gender gap and improving women’s position.
There are more women engaging in political activities at all levels, with the rate of female parliamentarians 27.1 per cent, higher than the global figure of 23.4 per cent and the Asian rate of 18.6 per cent.
Vietnam has a National Assembly Chairwoman and three female Politburo members for the first time.
Notably, the first Vietnamese female officers have joined UN peacekeeping missions.
Vietnamese women have also proven their role in business and other spheres, with the rate of female laborers standing at 48 per cent.
Still, Vietnam is continuing to perfect its relevant policies and laws, and optimize resources to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment.