New Museum Exhibit Celebrates Viet Nam's Commitment to Gender Equality

In

A new exhibition at the Viet Nam Women's Museum, which celebrates the country's achievements in gender equality since the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in 1995, was opened today (20 Oct) by high-ranking Government and UN officials.

At the special launch, held as part of the UN's recognition of National Women's Day, were Mme Truong My Hoa, Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly, who headed the Vietnamese delegation to the Beijing Conference; Mme Ha Thi Khiet, President of the Women's Union; UN Resident Co-ordinator Edouard A. Wattez; heads of UN agencies, including UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, WFP, FAO, UNDCP, UNIDO, UNAIDS, UNFPA, WHO, ILO and World Bank; representatives from the donor community; and many women who attended the World Conference in Beijing, China.

The global chief of United Nations Volunteers, Sharon Capeling-Alakija, was a special guest at the opening of the exhibition, which includes photographs from the events at Beijing and relating documents, as well as colourful banners which were produced by women from the provinces specially for the historic conference.

"Vietnamese women actively participated in a movement called ‘Vietnamese women weaving the world together' and sent to the Beijing conference 54 banners with a total length of 130m as a contribution to a common 21km-long banner of the world's women at the conference," said Madame Ha Thi Khiet.

"During the last four years of implementing the Beijing Declaration and the Global Platform of Action for the Advancement of Women, the Vietnam Women's Union has conducted many realistic activities and obtained many achievements in the realisation of the 10 objectives of the Development Strategy for the Advancement of Women to the Year 2000."

Mr Wattez applauded the efforts of Viet Nam in taking concrete action following the World Conference.

"As UN agencies, we are very proud that the Government and people of Viet Nam have taken the Beijing process to their hearts and minds and implemented it with both passion and commitment" he said,. "This passion epitomises the spirit of Beijing that can be seen so strongly in the images you see in the exhibition today."

Ms Capeling-Alakija, who is in Viet Nam on a first-ever, five-day visit to meet with more than 30 national and international volunteers, said: "The Beijing Conference for Women endorsed the most far-reaching and comprehensive document on women that has been developed to date.

"It is an impressive accomplishment that Viet Nam is bringing this document to life in the national context. Often UN documents mean little to the average person – but through this exhibition, and your ongoing work, you are providing ways for ordinary people to relate to the issues and to be energised by the Beijing experience."

The permanent exhibition in on the third floor of the Viet Mam Woman's Museum at 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. The United Nations, Oxfam (Great Britain), the Canadian Embassy and the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation helped to fund the exhibit.