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Leaving No One Behind – Empowering Women in Ethnic Communities

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Ms. Vu Thi Nhung remembers the first time she mediated a land dispute. Her hands were clammy, her knees were knocking and she could not get the words out. Over the years she has become better at dealing with conflicting parties. But in a region and culture dominated by men, it's never easy.

Now she feels she is better equipped than ever before, following a pilot workshop aimed at developing leadership skills among women in ethnic communities, organized by UNDP Viet Nam and the Viet Nam Women's Academy. "I can apply what I have learned today immediately to my work. I deal with a lot of conflicts among local people, including mitigating land disputes," said Ms. Nhung. "I have learned about options that are more creative to helping resolve difficult situations."

Ms. Nhung_from_Yen_Bai_province_smiles_after_the_training

Nhung acts as secretary of Women's Youth Union and hails from Yen Bai province, where leadership roles among women are few. Yet many of them are seeking to either move into leadership roles or attain higher status. More than 93% of female community leaders in Yen Bai have shown their strong interest to learn problem-solving, mediation and coordination skills which are directly applicable to their current work as a local leader.

Yen Bai's lack of women in leadership positions is a challenge reflected across the country. Despite strong progress in certain areas on gender equality in Viet Nam, including the development of laws for gender mainstreaming, women are still vastly under-represented in decision-making positions. Many face challenges in participation including discrimination in screening, hiring and promotion practices in the workplace, and securing political nomination and promotion practices. The situation is even worse for ethnic minority women in rural areas who are among the most vulnerable and marginalized in society.

According to Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Viet Nam, "Leadership training opportunities bring a real benefit to empower women to be progressive leaders and changemakers in their communities. It is in keeping with the SDGs to ensure: 'no one is left behind'." In the opening remarks of the training, Dr. Catherine Phuong, Head of the Governance and Participation Team of UNDP Viet Nam, also emphasized that women's representation is a matter of equality and fairness and decision-making must apply gender lens. "What I believe is most important for women's empowerment is enhancing women's choices and freedom to become 'happy'," she said sharing her own life experience. "One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your greatest potential in life is to remain true to yourself."

Dr. Catherine_Phuong_from_UNDP_speaks_at_the_opening_ceremony

This pilot training supported by UNDP aims to improve the capacity of female leaders including those from ethnic minority groups working at grassroots level in the public sector in Yen Bai and Lao Cai. Workshop participants learned how to identify and analyze problems, as well as collaborate to make good decisions with a use of collective wisdom in problem solving. They also actively participated in learning many other leadership skills including presentation, communication, delegation and coordination skills. "I have learned better communication with co-workers and citizens. It leads to good and careful decision makings," one of the participants shared after the workshop.

Training on_problem_solving_and_decision_making_skills

This intensive training initiated and conducted by UNDP Viet Nam is to empower women to have full and effective participation in leadership and support Viet Nam in its journey towards achieving SDGs, particularly SDG 4 which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of life-long opportunity for all, together with SDG 5 on gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.




1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

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