The dialogue in Hanoi on October 10 attracted youth representatives from 10 ASEAN countries (Photo: nhandan.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Youth representatives from 10 ASEAN countries, including over 100 Vietnamese youngsters, discussed challenges and solutions to achieving gender equality in ASEAN by 2030 during a dialogue in Hanoi on October 10.

The wider dialogue closed a five-day training course on the role of youth in ensuring gender equality, which had 24 participants from ASEAN countries, including six from Vietnam.

The course aimed to provide trainees with information on gender violence, allowing them to become more confident in implementing initiatives to promote gender equality and end gender violence in the community.

Nguyen Hai Minh, Vice President of the Vietnam Youth Federation, said that Vietnam is currently under a “golden demographic period”, with one third of the population aged between 15 and 24 years.

This is the ideal time to change the values and standards regarding gender and gender equality, he said, holding that working with youngsters is a good way to create positive social norms, preventing and ending violence against women and girls.

Education, including non-official approaches that target youth, is the most effective solution to preventing violence and developing relationships based on mutual respect, stated Minh.

Minh also expressed his hope that participants will help to form action plans and give effective initiatives, ideas, and measures to strengthen collaboration amongst ASEAN youngsters.

Furthermore, it is necessary to enhance the engagement of ASEAN youngsters in promoting gender equality, as well as putting an end to violence against women and girls in the future, he added.

Elisa Fernandez, head of the UN’s Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Office in Vietnam, said that the 24 course trainees had a chance to discuss the meaning and origin of gender equality, thus seeking ideas to erase gender inequality.

The “change makers” provided trainees with basic gender equality theories and gave them a chance to implement their own initiatives, she said. She revealed that 12 of the youngsters’ projects were chosen by UN Women for financial support during their implementation in ASEAN countries. These projects are expected to contribute to completing the fifth Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality and female empowerment by 2030.–VNA