More than 200 policy makers, domestic and international experts and representatives of non-governmental organizations attended a policy dialogue forum on gender equality in Hanoi on Feb. 28.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) Pham Thi Hai Chuyen and UNDP Resident Coordinator Pratibha Mehta said the Vietnamese Party and State have determined to complete a legal framework and policy on the issue and combine the building of legal documents with the implementation of the national strategy on gender equality for the 2011-2020 period.

Vietnam has been recognized as achieving the fastest gender gap eradication in Southeast Asia , noted the forum.

Representatives from MOLISA’s Gender Equality Department said Vietnam has recorded certain progress in gender equality and the advancement of women with the number of women working for the National Assembly being 24.4 percent, ranking 43 rd of 141 countries in the world and second of eight ASEAN nations having parliaments.

At present, 40 percent of ministries and ministerial-level agencies have women leaders and People’s Committees of 24 out of 36 provinces and cities have chairwomen or vice chairwomen. In 2012, 48 percent of more than 1.5 million new job receivers and more than 20 percent of business leaders were women.

However, UNDP representatives suggested Vietnam take urgent measures to implement and protect women and girls’ rights, especially their own issues relating to reproductive health.

Vietnam needs to collect information and make assessments of causes and effects of different forms of violence against women and children, they said.-VNA