The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) in coordination with UN Women organized a conference on the theme “Achieving the vision of Beijing: the Views of Men” on the sidelines of the 132nd IPU Assembly in Hanoi on March 29.

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong told the conference that 2015, which marks 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on gender equality and women’s empowerment, is the key year to look back at what have been done and renew commitments in the field for the time to come.

He noted that despite global efforts to tackle related issues, the rate of women in leadership positions remains low.

By January 2015, only 22 percent of the world’s parliamentary seats were held by women and only 19 countries had women served as Head of State or Government, Chungong explained.

He expressed hope that the gender issue will take a significant place in the world agenda and called for male world leaders, particularly those in Parliaments, to play a greater role in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Ha Minh Hue, member of the Vietnam National Assembly’s Committee for External Affairs, said Vietnam has been undertaking drastic measures to implement the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The country has adopted numerous policies, regulations and plans of actions in the field, encouraging the role of female parliamentarians and foster public attitude and perception change, particularly that of men, on women’s position in society and family.

As a result, more and more Vietnamese women involved in politics, he said, citing the fact that 24.4 percent of deputies in the NA are women.

Hue continued to say that gender equality has been integrated into the 2013 Constitution, and related laws continue to be improved, clearly enhancing women’s status and ensuring their rights and interests. He added that women in rural and disadvantaged areas are prioritized in government campaigns and actions on poverty reduction and gender equality in line with the Beijing Declaration.

Vietnam has also actively pushed discussions on gender equality at the United Nations General Assembly, IPU and other bilateral and multilateral forums, contributing to the goal to end gender discrimination.-VNA