Women should be encouraged to engage in economic development activities and be empowered in production and business, heard a forum in Hanoi on October 2.

In opening the forum, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc said promoting women’s involvement in economic activities plays a crucial role in realising gender equality, promoting social progress and helping implement the Party and State’s policies to develop the female business community in Vietnam.

International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Director Gyorgy Sziraczki stressed that it is impossible to eradicate poverty, enhance prosperity and sustainable development unless women are empowered and fully involved in economic activities.

UN Women Chief Representative in Vietnam Shoko Ishikawa said it is vital to remove barriers to women’s involvement in labour market by strengthening reform and ensuring the best working conditions and human rights for both women and men. She added that the salary gap between men and women in Vietnam widened by 2 percent in the 2008-2011 period compared to the level in the previous decade, while the global gap is closing in.

At the forum, participants focused discussions on issues related to creating favourable conditions for businesswomen’s development and measures to further boost the effectiveness of enterprises run by female leaders.

Delegates also shared the experience of Japanese businesses in empowering women at the workplace.-VNA