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UN Women sponsors training workshop on gender equality for NGOs

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shokoHa Noi, 30 May 2013 - Representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promoting gender equality and women’s rights in Viet Nam gathered in Ha Noi from May 28-30 to share their experiences and gain a deeper understanding of what gender equality means.

The goal of the workshop was to build a common understanding of gender equality concepts and to foster cooperation among the networks for women’s rights. The workshop was jointly organized by three NGO networks, Gender and Community Development Network (GENCOMNET), Domestic Violence Prevention Network (DOVIPNET) and Network for the Empowerment of Women (NEW) with the support of UN Women.

Crucial cooperation
Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Country Representative, opened the workshop explaining that supporting NGOs and women’s activism is of critical importance to UN Women. Even though women’s needs and concerns are diverse and NGOs may focus on different issues, it is crucial to come together at critical moments in order to amplify their voices. By cooperating, the NGOs can ensure that important issues such as violence against women, the unequal sex ratio at birth and protection of women in the informal economy receive the necessary attention.

Include civil society
Ms Kamla Bhasin, India's leading feminist activist and coordinator for the One Billion Rising Campaign in South Asia, was invited to share her knowledge and facilitate the workshop. She emphasized the importance of civil society in the global effort for gender equality promotion and asserted that civil society has to become part of the women’s movement. She also noted that Viet Nam shares the same challenges as many other countries in promoting gender equality, especially related to concepts of masculinity. NGOs must work with boys and men to increase their understanding and responsibility to promote equality.  

Triple Power Project
After the workshop, participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to strengthen their working capacity. They also said they were inspired to collaborate more effectively across networks. This workshop is part of the “Triple Power Project”, funded by UN Women since 2012 to improve coordination amongst the three NGO networks and their role in advocacy and implementation of gender equality related laws and policies. Also under the project, in May 2013, the three NGOs networks launched a communication campaign to advocate for men’s involvement in gender equality promotion. The campaign will promote different initiatives, including a students and youth contest to explore men’s role in the promotion of gender equality.

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