Illustrative image. (Source: VNA)
UNESCO Chief Representative in Vietnam Catherine Muller-Marin has underlined the need for the country to shift public awareness of gender through dialogues and exchanging research outcomes towards equality for women and girls.

Gender preconceptions should be abolished in textbooks and among teachers and parents, Muller-Marin said at an international seminar in Hanoi on September 29 to seek more comprehensive policies towards women.

Communications play an important role in this, she said, pointing out that the preference for boys in Vietnam has resulted in 1.5 unborn girls.

Like many other countries in the world, Vietnam has given much prominence to men and boys. Meanwhile, several ethnic groups such as the Ede people in the Central Highlands maintain the matriarchy .

According to the UN official, more education opportunities are available for women and girls, helping reduce illiteracy rates, improve healthcare and spur household economies.

Muller-Marin’s views were echoed by experts from foreign countries such as Nepal, Singapore, the UK and the Republic of Korea who said cultural rules have created public awareness of women’s rights.

Economic development and education enhancement would markedly improve the learning capacity of ethnic girls and ease pressure for early marriages and pregnancies, they said.

They explained that giving birth at early ages when women have little power in their family and limited social relationships has prevented them from benefitting from socio-economic achievements.

Domestic scholars at the event also proposed a spectrum of solutions to support and create more opportunities for disabled, ethnic, migrant and rural women to access development resources.-VNA