Gender roles and differences must be taken into account in designing policies and programmes on social welfare, said Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Country Representative in Vietnam in Hanoi on April 21.

She made the remark at a workshop promoting social protection for women and girls in Vietnam held by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Achievement of Women (UN Women) in association with the Institute of Labour Sciences and Social Affairs (ILSSA) under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

According to the UN Women official, Vietnam has made significant progress in reducing gender inequality, yet gender bias and challenges to achieving gender equality still remain, limiting women’s access to the labour market.

ILSSA Director Nguyen Thi Lan Huong affirmed that effective social protection policies are essential in ensuring social stability, fostering economic growth and building a better society.

Employment and social protection policies have been developed in Vietnam for decades, benefiting an increasing number of people including women and girls, as manifested in the issuance of two State Resolutions on social protection in 2012, Huong added.

During the workshop, local and foreign experts in the field exchanged information and experience in implementing programmes on social protection for women and girls.

Delegate proposals together with findings of the national report on “Social protection for women and girls in Vietnam” conducted by the ILSSA and UN Women in 2014 will offer guidance for the government in improving its policies on social protection concerning gender issues.-VNA