Text and photo by Tran Thi Minh Huong, Vietnam Women’s Union, Vietnam
- Seminar on the Role of Women: Economic Empowerment towards ASEAN Inter-Community Development organised by Indonesia’s Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection (16 November 2011 in Bali, Indonesia);
- ACWC Consultation on the Promotion and Implementation of Women’s and Children’s Rights (20 -21 December 2011 in Hai Phong); and recently
- ACWC’s dialogue with civil society (CSOs) on Violence against Women and Violence against Children” (18 January 2012 in Manila, Philippines).
In these activities, VWU’s representatives shared information and experience on women economic empowerment, promotion and protection of women’s and children’s rights, prevention of VAW and proposed recommendations of cooperation mechanism between the government and NGOs/CSOs in ASEAN to promote women’s rights and progress in the region.
VWU has made many significant achievements in supporting women in poverty reduction, income generation and economic development by providing loans, together with loans management training, technical assistance and technology transfer; and organizing vocational trainings and job placement for women, particularly for rural women. VWU is the first organization that has been licensed by the State Bank to run a micro finance institution that targets poor women. VWU has been promoting the establishment of Vietnam Women Entrepreneur Association and at the same time, piloting a model of women’s union in private enterprises.
In terms of protecting women’s and children’s rights, VWU has actively participated in the formulation, dissemination and supervision of the implementation of laws and policies relating to women and children’s rights such as the Law on Gender Equality, Law on Prevention and Combating Domestic Violence, and Law on Prevention and Combating Human Trafficking. VWU has established two Peace House Shelters for victims of domestic violence and returned victims of trafficking. It has also introduced Reliable Addresses in the community where women can seek help in crisis.
In building an ASEAN Community where both women and men can enjoy equal rights, VWU proposes the following:
- Cooperation on activities to protect and promote the rights of women and children nationally and regionally, particularly trans-border issues such as trafficking in women and children, and marriage migrants.
- ASEAN Governments should keep NGOs/CSOs updated on the issues of women and children’s rights and give NGOs/CSOs a consultative status in all ACWC meetings or relevant activities.