Press Release

Launch of the National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls

13 November 2016

HA NOI, 13 November 2016 – Violence against women and girls undermines family stability and solidarity, and is one of the gravest violations of human rights. Urgent global action is needed to address it.

Here in Viet Nam, the National Study on Domestic Violence against Women, released by the General Statistics Office and the United Nations in Viet Nam in 2010, showed that 58 per cent of ever-married women had experienced at least one form of violence (physical, mental or sexual) at some point in their lives. Approximately 50 per cent of victims did not tell anyone about the violence they endured, and 87 per cent did not seek help from public services.

Violence against women and girls not only has serious impacts on the physical and spiritual well-being of victims, but also has enormous socio-economic costs. A recent UN study showed that the cost of gender-based violence against women in Viet Nam, in out of pocket expenditures and lost earnings represented nearly 1.5 per cent of national GDP in 2012. The social costs, however, are even greater as violence against women significantly reduces social cohesion and community resilience. Violence against women and girls hampers economic growth and the ability to reduce poverty across the nation.

Viet Nam has a solid legal framework in place to address gender equality and gender-based violence, as well as legal instruments in place to guide the implementation of the existing laws. However, much more needs to be done to ensure that the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control is further reinforced and implemented effectively to help end all violence against women and girls.

In October 2015, the Prime Minister approved a National Action Programme on Gender Equality for the 2016-2020 period and assigned the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs as the leading agency to carry out the Annual Action Month on Promoting Gender Equality and Preventing Violence against Women and Girls in Viet Nam from 15 November to 15 December annually.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in collaboration with the United Nations in Viet Nam and other development partners have come together today to launch the national action month, which aims to raise awareness of public on violence and calls on the public, particularly men and boys, to take action against violence, against women and girls.

Addressing the launching event, Mr. Nguyen Trong Dam, Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, leading agency in addressing violence against women and girls in Viet Nam said: "This is the first time for Viet Nam to carry out the national action month on gender equality and prevention of gender-based violence to raise awareness and call for action to end gender inequality towards a sustainable society. A healthy country, no poverty, justice and "no one is left behind" is the aspiration of every human being. Gender equality is key to ending violence against women and girls".

Ms. Astrid Bant, Representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Viet Nam said: "Today we have gathered to launch a national action month and campaign to end Violence against Women and Girls.  This campaign will not be effective without active involvement of men and boys in Viet Nam. I hope that all boys and men in Viet Nam will stand up to address inequalities, injustice and violence against girls and women.  Ending violence against women should be a priority for every men and women".  

The campaign consists of a series of activities organized from 15 November to 15 December 2016 including policy dialogues with young people; workshops; football festival day; concerts; Howabnormal events to break gender stereotypes; Bus journeys; "No more" week - Action to end sexual violence; Training for bus drivers to provide them with knowledge and skills on Gender equality....Detailed information about the events is outlined in the attached Information Sheet.

Now it is the time take action to end violence against women and girls. Together, we can make Viet Nam safer and more equitable for women and girls. Let's join hands to end violence against women and girls in Viet Nam.

Click here to read the UNFPA Representative's speech at the event.

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For more information, please contact:

Ms Nguyen Thi Van Anh
Department for Gender Equality,
MOLISA,
Tel: 04 38269551
Email: vananhmolisa@gmail.com

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Thanh  
UN Communications
Mob: 0913 093363
Email: tnguyen@unfpa.org