Fri, 19th Apr 2024 00:41 (GMT +7)

Vietnam puts women’s empowerment at centre of development: UNFPA Vietnam

Friday, 08/03/2024 | 10:00:00 [GMT +7] A  A

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Vietnam Matt Jackson has affirmed that Vietnam has been putting gender equality, women’s empowerment, and human rights at the centre of development.

Vietnam puts women’s empowerment at centre of development: UNFPA Vietnam hinh anh 1
Vietnam has been putting gender equality, women’s empowerment, and human rights at the centre of development. (Photo: VNA)


In his article, titled “Women and girls are empowered to make their own decision” and penned on the occasion of the 114th anniversary of International Women’s Day (March 8), Jackson said over recent years, dedicated investments in the health and rights of women and girls have improved – and saved – millions of lives but progress is slow. Globally, in the last 20 years, maternal mortality rates have declined by 34%, yet a woman still dies every two minutes during pregnancy or childbirth, pointing to a hidden global crisis.

“Vietnam has made great strides surpassing the global trend to reduce maternal mortality by 46.5% over the same period,” he said, suggesting that the focus must now shift to areas where rates are still high such as among ethnic minorities in rural and mountainous regions.

Another success story is the number of women using modern contraception which, globally, has doubled to 77% over 30 years. Yet more than 250 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using family planning.

In Vietnam, the use of modern contraceptives is around 60% - also an increase. However, the unmet need is four times higher for unmarried women than it is for married women.

“This tells us we have much more to do in ensuring services reach adolescents and young people,” the UNFPA representative noted.

Mentioning gender-based violence, he said the 2019 National Study on Violence Against Women in Vietnam found that nearly two-thirds of women experience intimate partner violence and that 90% of these women never seek help.

“Our response is threefold: to support services such as the national GBV hotline and One-Stop-Service Centres; to tackle root causes such as gender inequality to prevent violence; and to change the stigma associated with violence,” he said.

According to Jackson, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the UNFPA in Vietnam is running an online challenge and webinar to raise awareness and share experiences of young people protecting themselves online, given the context of the rising levels of online violence with women and girls particularly at risk of image-based abuse.

Vietnam puts women’s empowerment at centre of development: UNFPA Vietnam hinh anh 2
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Vietnam Matt Jackson. (Photo: VNA)

Emphasising positive impacts of gender equality on families, communities and the wider economy, the official said he is keen to support investment in cervical cancer screening and accelerate the roll-out of HPV vaccinations – simple actions that can save the lives of many women from preventable illness.

“It’s important to remember that we are not just one story – there are many parts that make up our identities and our lives. For this reason, I am committing UNFPA in Vietnam to ensuring that our projects and programmes work for everyone who needs them,” he said.

“To achieve this, we must be people-centred and reflect their wishes and needs. Women’s leadership is critical to Vietnam’s social-economic growth.”

“The arguments for gender equality for individuals, communities and the economy are clear. Together we can create societies where women and girls are empowered to make their own decisions. These actions will help to ensure that we leave no one behind,” he concluded.

Source: VNA