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Ensuring social security, promoting gender equality and preventing and responding to violence against women and girls

Hanoi, 20 October 2021: The Project “Building a model to respond to violence against women and girls in Vietnam,” has achieved tangible results from close collaboration between the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations Population Agency (UNFPA) in Viet Nam.

 

The Project aimed at raising public awareness of violence, particularly sexual violence against women and girls, thus changing people’s attitudes and behaviors on gender-based violence. It was also designed to set up a centre to provide essential and integrated services for survivors of gender-based violence, the first-ever model in Viet Nam.

 

After nearly four years of implementation (2017-2021), more than 10 million people have gained knowledge of gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence against women and girls through 3 annual national communication campaigns, which were part of the National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention and Response to gender-based violence (from 15 November - 15 December). Industrial zones in Quang Ninh were also targeted to institute a culture of zero toleratence to sexual harassment at workplace.

 

Commenting on the significant contributions of the Project, the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Ms. Nguyen Thi Ha stressed: “the Government of Viet Nam has always made every effort to implement necessary measures to ensure social security, promote gender equality and prevent and respond to gender based violence, particularly violence against women and girls. These efforts have been highly appreciated by international organizations. Under the country’s policies to support the people and the businesses to overcome the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, women and children are always the prioritized targets and have received better support packages, particularly, pregnant women, COVID-19 infected women, and the pandemic orphans etc., thus contributing to making their lives stable, reducing pressure and risks of being subjected to violence and/or being abused. MOLISA commended the project’s outcomes. This project constitutes a highlight in the cause of gender-based violence prevention and response, contributing to achieving the national objectives on gender equality. The project has also laid a practical foundation for the development of policies on gender equality and gender-based violence prevention and response.”

 

Started its operation in April 2020, the Anh Duong House has accommodated more than 300 women and children, who are the survivors of gender-based violence. It serves as a one-stop service centre, providing comprehensive services, including health care, counselling, social welfare, police protection, and justice services. Its hotline, which is available 24/7 and free of charge, is receiving more than 1,000 calls a month. The Anh Duong House has been managed by the Quang Ninh Provincial Social Work Centre under the Quang Ninh provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, with technical support from MOLISA, UNFPA and KOICA. And it is planned that the Anh Duong House model will be replicated in HCMC, Da Nang, and Thanh Hoa. About 500 service providers have been trained on how to provide support for women and girls who are subjected to violence. In addition to providing emergency support for the protection of the rights of women and girls subject to violence, the centre has provided referrals and social welfare support to ensure the livelihood for the vulnerable groups.

 

Speaking at the closing event, the Director of KOICA Country Office, Mr. Cho Han-Deog highlighted the significant contributions of the Project to ending gender-based violence against women and girls. Mr. Cho Han-Deog said: At KOICA, we embrace a zero-tolerance culture that says NO to gender-based violence (GBV) in any way, shape or form.This project has laid a solid foundation for further effort to providing integrated support to GBV survivors, and to contribute to zero gender-based violence communities in the future.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNFPA has warned the possible increase in the number of calls for help to the hotline. In other words, there is a possibility of increased domestic violence during the pandemic period. For the first time in Viet Nam, more than 4,000 dignity kits were distributed to women in Bac Giang and HCMC. The kit consists of not only essential living items for women and girls, but also information on gender-based violence.

 

The UNFPA Representative for Vietnam, Ms Naomi Kitahara said in her opening remarks: "I am happy that the project achieved such tangible results, many of which were done for the first time in Viet Nam. And I am happy that we are serving women, particularly women survivors of violence, so effectively, with respect and dignity."

 

Ms Naomi Kitahara confirmed UNFPA's commitments to contributing to the Government of Vietnam’s efforts to stop gender-based violence against women and girls, so that they can live a life free of violence and with dignity, thus achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, leaving no one behind.

 

In addition to the tangible results, the participants in  the workshop also discussed the challenges in addressing gender-based violence prevention and response in Viet Nam. Therefore, the Government and other relevant agencies, organizations, communities and individuals need to make stronger efforts to end gender-based violence.

 

For further information, contact:

 

Ms Nguyen Thi Van Anh,

Gender Equality Department officer, email: vananhmolisa@gmail.com. Mobile: 0392.599.588

 

Ms Dinh Thu Huong

UNFPA Communications Officer, email: dhuong@unfpa.org; Mobile: 0913301539