Speech of Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative at the Festival “Love’s steps” on 16 days of activism against GBV

5 December 2017
Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative at the Festival “Love’s steps”

Ms. Nguyen Van Anh, Director of CSAGA;

Representatives from Government Organizations, CSOs, International development partners, UN Colleagues and media; 

Ladies and gentlemen;

A very good morning to you all,

On behalf of UNFPA in Viet Nam, I am delighted to be here at this interesting event "Love's Steps" to call for an end to violence against women.

Let's me first thank CSAGA and Ha Noi Youth's Union, Embassy of Netherlands, Irish Aid and KOICA for co-organizing this event.

Distinguished guests,

Everyone has a right to live free of violence. It’s a fundamental right – a right enshrined in international human rights law. Yet gender based violence against women and girls continues to be a serious problem in almost every country in the world.

Globally, one in every three women is subjected to violation by men, often close to her – father, husband, boyfriend, uncle, and supervisor, colleague at workplace, etc.

In Viet Nam, 58% of ever-married women said that they had experienced at least one form of physical, sexual and emotional violence from someone close, at some point in their lives.

87% said they had been sexually harassed in public.

10% said they had been sexually assaulted by their spouses.

But 87% of victims did not seek help due to the lack of available services. Many were also afraid to speak up due to the fear of stigma, discrimination and further harassment.

We need to create an enabling environment for GBV victims to speak up by addressing cultural norms that are constructed by the patriarchal system  contributing to gender stereotypes , and ensuring that the essential services for GBV survivors are available and accessible.

Distinguished guests,

I am so happy to see that many people gather today in this beautiful park to dance together to make changes on this issue. Let's dance make a real contribution to ending violence against women and girls in Viet Nam.

Ending violence against women should be a priority for every man and woman.  Together, we can make Viet Nam safer and more equitable for women and girls.

May I wish you a fruitful and enjoyable event.