The 30th anniversary of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians and the 20 th anniversary of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was marked at a ceremony in Hanoi on March 30.

The Meeting, an activity held before the opening the Assemblies of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) since 1986, is a forum for female parliamentarians to exchange information, experiences, and viewpoints on issues of shared interest.

The increased participation of female parliamentarians has been seen at the IPU Assemblies, from 10 percent of attendees in the first years to more than 30 percent as of late.

More gender-related matters have also been included in the working agenda and attracted greater attention from delegates, said Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who is Chairperson of the 21 st Meeting of Women Parliamentarians at the ongoing 132 nd IPU Assembly.

At the 21 st Meeting on March 28, participants reviewed the 20-year implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action while renewing commitments to a world of peace, equality, and development, she noted.

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said Vietnam has continually strived to ensure gender equality and women empowerment, adding that the country has institutionalised the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in its legal system and set up a group of female National Assembly deputies in 2008.

Vietnam pledges support to and responsible participation in the Meeting’s activities, he noted, asking the IPU, its member parliaments, and parliamentarians to support this mechanism, enhance women’s presence in parliaments and IPU activities, and further include gender issues in parliaments’ agenda.

Highlighting Vietnam’s progress in promoting gender equality, Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan said the country has one of the highest numbers of women parliamentarians among Asian nations. It also has the second largest number of female CEOs in ASEAN and 48 percent of the labour force is women.

The country has designed and enforced an array of related legal documents and national programmes and strategies such as the Law on Gender Equality, the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control, the National Programme on Gender Equality for 2011-2015, and the National Strategy on Gender Equality for 2011-2020, she added.

She expressed her hope that during their meeting in New York City this September, world leaders will reiterate additional actions to promote the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action to remove barriers to women empowerment and gender equality.-VNA