Ha Noi, 3rd March 2017 – In commemoration of International Women’s Day, the United Nations in Viet Nam together with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) held today a policy event on “Women in the Changing World of Work”. The event brought together more than 100 participants, including the Minister of MOLISA, representatives from ministries, National Assembly, socio-political organizations, the UN in Viet Nam, bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as NGOs and the media. The event emphasized the importance of women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, this is also the global topic that the UN and country members choose for 2017.
In recent years, Viet Nam has achieved remarkable economic growth to emerge as a dynamic, emerging economy with 73% of women participating in the economy, in contrast to 65.5% among ASEAN economies. Due to the development of the export economy, female employment in manufacturing is growing at a faster pace than male employment. Employed women have higher social insurance than employed men, while men usually are the main workforce in the private sector. However, gender inequalities in labor market are pervasive and hinder women’s economic empowerment in Viet Nam. Social norms such as expectations that women will handle domestic work and child care, or the need to balance with household and social work are some barriers for women against decent work. There is a low ratio of women in leading and decision-making positions in public and private sectors, and barriers on policies like difficult approach to social welfare in informal economy where women are mostly the working force. Therefore, women’s economic empowerment requires eradicating these barriers, including discriminatory law and social norms to promote gender equality in getting access to opportunities and results of economic achievement.
The event was co-chaired by Mr. Dao Ngoc Dzung, Minister of MOLISA, Chairperson of the National Committee for the Advancement of Women in Viet Nam and Mr. Kamal Malhotra, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Viet Nam. Participants exchanged and shared experience on promoting gender equality in the changing world of work, towards specific goals of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (SDGs) on economic empowerment, decent work and gender equality.
Mr. Kamal Malhotra said: “Women’s economic empowerment and the realization of women’s rights to and at work are essential for the achievement of the Beijing Declaration, Platform of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that Viet Nam has committed to enforce. The SDGs seek to leave no one behind- and that means no women or girls are left behind. Transforming the world of work for women require the elimination of structural barriers and discriminatory laws and social norms to create equal economic opportunities.”
At the event, representative from MOLISA also shared challenges of policy implementation on employment and recommended solutions to ensure working opportunities for women, in both national and local level. Representative from the UN presented and analyzed trends and the main challenges of women’s economic empowerment, and gave recommendations to prioritize gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the implementation of national development policies.
Closing the event, leaders of MOLISA and the UN both committed to work together with other stakeholders to promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in Viet Nam and to ensure that no woman will leave behind.
- Opening remarks by Mr Kamal Malhotra United Nations Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative, Viet Nam at the Policy Event on Gender Equality on the Occasion of International Women's Day 2016
- UN Presentation on Women's Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work