Follow us on: 
facebook
youtube
flick
 

Power, voice and rights – keys to achieving gender equality in Asia-Pacific

Print Email

Ha Noi, 9 March 2010 – While Asia and the Pacific can take pride in the region’s vibrant economic transformation in recent decades, this has not always translated into progress on gender equality.

Discrimination and neglect are threatening women’s very survival in the Asia-Pacific region, where women suffer from some of the world’s lowest rates of political representation, employment and property ownership. Their lack of participation is also depressing economic growth.

These are some of the findings of the UNDP-sponsored 2010 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report (Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific), launched today in Ha Noi.

“Empowering women is vital for achieving development goals overall, and for boosting economic growth and sustainable development. Viet Nam is an acknowledged leader in the region in promoting gender equality but more still needs to be done to bring about gender equality between Vietnamese men and women,” says John Hendra, UN Resident Coordinator.

The Report focuses on three key areas – economic power, political decision-making and legal rights – to analyze what holds women back, and how policies and attitudes can be changed to foster a climb toward gender equality. Asia, the Report asserts, is standing at a cross-road and by putting the right policies in place now, countries in the region can achieve positive change.

Unequal pay for equal work
Fewer women than men are in paid work in every country in the region, with striking contrasts between South Asia and East Asia. Nearly 70 per cent of East Asian women are in paid work, well above the global average of 53 per cent, while in South Asian countries like India and Pakistan fewer than 35 per cent of women do paid work.

Despite laws guaranteeing equal pay for equal work, women in this region still earn considerably less than men, with the pay gap ranging from 54 to 90 per cent. Women “consistently end up with some of the worst, most poorly-paid jobs – often the ones that men don’t want to do, or that are assumed to be “naturally” suited to women,” the Report finds.

In Viet Nam, women make up 46.6 per cent of the workforce. However, most women work in the informal sector which is not covered by social protection. Furthermore, as more than half of working women are unpaid family workers they receive no direct income. Those women who are paid still receive only around 87 per cent of average male wages.

Few women hold political office
Asia-Pacific women hold only a handful of legislative seats, fewer than anywhere else in the world except in the Arab region. Development level doesn’t necessarily correlate with high political participation for women, either; women in Japan and the Republic of Korea, for example, hold just ten per cent of legislative seats.

In Viet Nam, one in four National Assembly member is a woman – the highest participation rate among ASEAN countries. However, women are not well represented in senior decision-making in the Party or the administration: only one Minister and five of 82 Vice-Ministers are women.

Violence against women persists
The problem of “missing girls” – in which more boys are born than girls, as girl fetuses are presumably aborted, and women die from health and nutrition neglect – is growing. Birth gender disparity is greatest in East Asia, where 119 boys are born for every 100 girls.

In Viet Nam, the sex ratio at birth in 2008 was 112 to 100, up from 110 to 100 in 2006. If this trend continues, Viet Nam will have a surplus male population from 2025.

Violence against women by their male partners remains high in Asia-Pacific. National surveys find the incidence varying from two in three women in Papua New Guinea to one in ten in the Philippines. A recent study in Viet Nam suggests that more than one-fifth of couples experience domestic violence. Almost two-thirds of Vietnamese women believe it is acceptable for men to beat their wives.  

“Domestic violence extracts billions of dollars from national economies, in part through greater health burdens on healthcare systems and lower productivity,” says the Report.

Region at a crossroad: Recommendations
The Report provides eight recommendations for action across the three areas covered (power, voice and rights). Removing barriers to women’s ownership of assets, such as land; expanding paid employment; making migration safe and investing in high-quality education and health are some of the main solutions recommended.

“In order for women in Viet Nam to have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives, equal access to and control over economic resources, and equal access to legal rights and protection, we need to ensure that all Vietnamese families value their girls equally with boys and invest in their capabilities and wellbeing,” John Hendra comments.

“Decision-making in the household, community, and in political life needs to be shared equally by women and men. Existing legal frameworks that support gender equality and women’s empowerment must be implemented and enforced. And last but not least, we must all of us, men and women, speak out to break the silence that surrounds violence against women.”

For further information, please contact: 

Pernille Goodall

One UN Communications team

Tel: +84 4 822 4383, ext 123

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Nguyen Viet Lan

One UN Communications team

Tel: +84 4 3822 4383, ext 121

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Spotlight

myhealth-myright_en.pdf.png

WORLD AIDS DAY MESSAGE 2017

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.


contest_680.jpg

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


op-ed-juv-justice-390.jpg

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.


rc_ai_new_year_card_300.jpg

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


WAD2016.jpg

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.



RSS Email Subscription

Enter your email address: