Promoting gender integration in implementing action plans related to millennium development goals (MDG) in ethnic minority areas was the main focus of a training workshop held in central Binh Thuan province on July 21 and 22.

Jointly held by the provincial People’s Committee and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the event was attended by Hoang Xuan Luong, Deputy Minister – Vice Chairman of the Government Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, and Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Chief Representative in Vietnam, as well as officials in charge of ethnic affairs from nine localities in the Central Highlands and central regions.

The training was designed to assist localities in drafting plans and strategies relating to gender integration towards the completion of a plan of action on boosting the implementation of MDGs in ethnic minority regions.

Delegates presented speeches on subjects involving gender and gender integration, including gender equality approaches, gender meanstreaming in implementing MDG-related action plans and policies and social welfare policies dedicated to ethnic girls and women.

They also discussed challenges that have arisen during the implementation of MDGs in ethnic minority-inhabited areas as well as measures to include gender in the efforts.

Vietnam has, to date, completed three of the eight MDGs, including promoting gender equality and empowering women.

However, the country’s gender equality policies are relatively vague and there is still a lack of priority mechanisms for the development of ethnic minority women.

The country is striving to reduce the number of illiterate ethnic minority females to below 20 percent while increasing the number of women participating in commune-level People’s Councils to 30 percent and the proportion of female ethnic deputies to 50 percent.-VNA