Australia launches programme to empower Vietnamese women hinh anh 1A flashmob performance in response to a ceremony launching the Action Month for Gender Equality. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Australian government on November 22 launched a Gender Equality Strategy for Vietnam for the first time, outlining its plans to promote women’s empowerment in Vietnam.

The strategy will be implemented by Australia’s diplomatic missions in Hanoi and HCM City between 2016 and 2020 and will cover all Australian government agencies in Vietnam.

The strategy will highlight Australia’s priorities for improving the quality of life for girls and women and support the Vietnamese government in its efforts to implement its National Gender Equality Strategy 2011-2020.

To reduce gender gap, the focus will be on three key areas: improving women’s participation in decision-making and leadership; promoting economic empowerment; and putting an end to violence against women.

“Gender equality is an important social policy priority for Vietnam, as it is for Australia.  It is also smart economics,” Australian ambassador Craig Chittick said while speaking at the launch in Hanoi.

“Women bring particular perspectives, priorities and strengths from their own life experiences that contribute to the development of businesses, communities and the nation,” Chittick said. “Australia’s investment in women and girls in Vietnam will be an important contribution to Vietnam achieving its social and economic development objectives.”

Promoting women’s economic empowerment, including among ethnic minorities, is one of the three pillars of Australia’s development co-operation programme with Vietnam for the period 2015-20. With more than 10 million AUD (7.4 million USD) invested in gender-related programmes over the last few years, Australia is already one of the largest contributors for advancing gender equality in Vietnam. Its newly launched Gender Equality Strategy will make its contribution more focused and purposeful.

The Australian government also hosted yesterday a Women in Leadership forum, to encourage the exchange of ideas on how to integrate the focus on women’s leadership through Australia’s scholarship and human resources development programme, and to discuss how it could collaborate with local partners to promote women’s careers.-VNA