Engaging men in preventing violence against women, children hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - The White Ribbon Breakfast was held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 24 to encourage the participation of men and the community as a whole in preventing violence and sexual harassment against women and children, particularly in the context of COVID-19.

The breakfast was co-organised by the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Department of Tourism of HCM City, UN Women, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in response to the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign and Vietnam’s action month for gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee of HCM City’s District 1 Mai Thi Hong Hoa called for greater engagement on the part of men to carry out measures ending gender-based violence, and affirmed that ensuring the safety of women and girls is important in building an equal and civilised society.

She said that images of doctors, armed forces, flight crews, volunteers, and service providers on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 are valuable for communications campaigns, since they show both men and women providing a safe and friendly city for women and children.

Meanwhile, Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, stressed that men are the important agent for ending violence against women and girls.

She suggested communications campaigns focus on changing deep-rooted gender prejudice by encouraging men to help women with the housework and child care and to develop a respectful and non-violent relationship with women.

Similarly, Nguyen Nguyet Minh, Officer-in-Charge at UNODC, also emphasised the role of men, particularly those working in law enforcement and judicial agencies, in ensuring safety and justice for victims of violence.

She said that UNODC stands ready to support HCM City in developing solutions and initiatives to end violence against women and girls.

According to a national survey conducted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the General Statistics Office, and the UN Population Fund, 63 percent of married Vietnamese women have experienced one or more forms of physical, sexual, emotional, or economic violence and controlling behaviour by their husbands.

UN Women said that violence against women and girls in the world has spiked by 30-300 percent since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Most victims of domestic violence do not report it to authorities, since they believe help will not be forthcoming.
Based on a vision that “All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence”, the White Ribbon Campaign originated in Australia in 2003 as part of UNIFEM (now UN Women). Since then, the campaign has positively engaged men as part of the policy advocacy process to end violence against women and girls. The campaign starts from the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25) and finishes on Human Rights Day (December 10)./.