Five organisations and 10 individuals received the 2013 Vietnamese Women Awards for their excellent achievements in all fields of social life in Hanoi on October 2.

The awardees included those who are working in a wide range of areas across the country including health care, military, business and research.

Speaking at the ceremony, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women's Union (VWU) Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa said that the awards acknowledged the talents and contributions of Vietnamese women to the national development in all fields.

This is the 11th year of the award. There have been 41 organisations and 84 individuals who received the awards in the last 11 years.

Also on October 2, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan praised 270 exemplary Vietnamese women for their achievements and contributions to economic development and poverty reduction in the 2002-13 period.

The 270 honoured, who were selected from grassroots levels on behalf of all Vietnamese women throughout the country, gathered at a conference held by the VWU in the capital city of Hanoi.

Addressing the conference, the Deputy PM highly praised the initiative by the VWU, the World Bank and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to take women's economic empowerment in the country as the theme for this year's Vietnam Women's Innovation Day.

"This is a meaningful activity among a series of events for innovation day, happening at a time when the domestic and world economies are facing many difficulties," Nguyen Thien Nhan said.

"This reflects the special attention of the women union in supporting women and to involve them in economic development, as well as encouraging them to bring more innovation to production and business," he added.

Reports at the conference show that in the last 10 years, women unions at all levels had supportive programmes to help their members, especially the poor and those in rural areas.

According to the VWU Chairwoman Hoa, by June this year, the unions had supported over 11.7 million poor households by providing them with employment, and also livestock to supplement income, for a total of nearly 7 trillion VND (333 million USD).

Furthermore, nearly 18,000 charity houses for the members were built or repaired thanks to the unions for a total of 291.3 billion VND (13.8 million USD).

The unions at all levels have also organised different support models for members, including poverty reduction clubs, credit fund groups, co-operatives and micro-financial organisations, Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa said.

Participants at the conference also shared and exchanged their experiences in doing business.

They expressed their wishes that the Party and the Government would pay more attention to rural areas, as well as have more appropriate policies to create employment, support preferential credit and create measures to promote their products. They also asked for legal consultancy to equip themselves in doing business.-VNA