HCM City to issue communication materials on sexual harassment hinh anh 1Le Thi Lan Phuong, a programme officer at UN Women Vietnam, speaks at the workshop (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) Ho Chi Minh City will issue a set of communication materials on gender equality and prevention of sexual harassment in public places, aiming to help build a safer city.

The municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said the publications will include radio broadcasts, comics, posters, and leaflets disseminating information about gender equality, ways to recognise sexual harassment in public places, and measures to prevent and denounce those behaviours.

Tran Thi Thanh Kim, head of the Department’s unit for Child Care and Protection, and Gender Equality office, said at a consultation workshop on August 23 that the communication materials were compiled based on a survey in five districts of HCM City in 2016. The survey results detailed that there were many obstacles for sexual harassment prevention and gender equality.

Le Thi Lan Phuong, a programme officer at UN Women Vietnam, said that girls and women of all ages rarely feel safe in public places. Harassing behaviours are shown through unwanted attention in terms of language, gestures, actions, or touching.

The HCM City survey showed that 49 percent of respondents said they have witnessed the sexual harassment of women and girls in public places, over 18 percent of interviewed women said they have suffered from sexual harassment or violence, and 11 percent of male respondents confessed to having had sexually harassing or violent behaviours.

The places where harassment is most common are parks, streets, buses, bus stops, and areas with poor lighting, the survey showed.

At the workshop, many participants said in order to prevent sexual harassment in public places, agencies and sectors in HCM City need to step up communication coordination to raise awareness, upgrade infrastructure facilities, and provide more support services for victims and witnesses.

They also called for the building of a more civilised and modern environment in public places, as well as programmes to raise awareness of dangers for women of all ages so as to help turn HCM City into a safe and friendly city. –VNA