The number of women working for the National Assembly (NA) in Vietnam has declined in the past ten years, proven by its falling to 44th in the world rankings, according to a United Nations Development Programme study released on Sept. 21.

Speaking at the launch of the study, UN Resident Co-ordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Pratibha Mehta said that in 1997, Vietnam ranked amongst the top ten countries with the highest number of women in parliament in the world.

However, after a decade, the number of women in government has remarkably reduced, accounting for only 24.4 percent of total candidates.

"It's true that in countries such as Vietnam and Switzerland , this number is decreasing while it increases globally," Pratibha said.

The situation doesn't seem to be improving in Asia-Pacific, where the number of women in parliament, excluding those in Australia and New Zealand , is the lowest in the world.

On average, women account for less than 10 percent of ministers in Asia-Pacific while women hold slightly less than 20 percent of seats in parliament globally, the study releaved.

The study estimates that it will take 50 years for gender balance to be achieved in Asia-Pacific national legislatures if the increase in women's participation in parliaments remained at its current pace.

To expand women's empowerment in elected offices in Asia Pacific, the study recommends that these countries implement constitutional reform to expand the rights to vote and hold public office and remove all forms of sexual discrimination.

It also suggests using electoral finance and party laws in countries using proportional representation party lists and mixed electoral systems and gender rules to create equal opportunities for male and female members.-VNA