The government of Australia has pledged to support Vietnam in women’s empowerment and gender equity, according to Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Julie Bishop.

Speaking at a reception for the delegation of the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU), led by Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa, Bishop expressed her pleasure at the initial results achieved in Australian-funded projects on agriculture and tackling gender-based violence in Vietnam.

During the event, which was attended by Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Luong Thanh Nghi and Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Hugh Borrowman, Bishop praised the ten-day visit of the VWU, which ended on March 17. She stated that it will kick start a special “Vietnam-Australia Relations Week” in Australia, with the highlight of the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to the country.

Bishop also hailed the union’s idea to organise a women for peace and development forum in 2015, saying that the activity will help prove women’s significant role in peace-keeping and socio-economic development of the world.

The Vietnamese chairwoman expressed thanks to the Australian government and all bodies and experts who have actively supported Vietnamese women and the union’s activities. Recent VWU projects have included ones preventing family violence, improving women’s awareness of laws and their rights and providing women with financial and technical assistance for economic development.

Hoa also highlighted the Vietnamese government’s efforts to ensure gender equity and improve women’s participation at all levels in the country.

During their visit, the VWU delegation worked with the Australian Human Rights Committee and Flinders University in order to share experience and gain further knowledge about campaigning for the rights of women.-VNA