The role of men in domestic violence prevention was the subject of a workshop in Hanoi on November 19 with the participation of women and farmers’ union members from six northern provinces.

According to the National Study on Domestic Violence Against Women in Vietnam, one in three married women have suffered physical or sexual abuse from their husbands at some point in their lives.

It affirmed that domestic violence to Vietnamese women is a serious matter.

According to Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Social Affairs, Do Manh Hung, domestic violence not only erodes social morality but also has a negative impact on future generation and may result in family break-ups.

Vietnam , like other countries, is confronting gender imbalance and violence towards women, he said, stressing the joint effort of State agencies, socio-political organisations, non-governmental organisations and people is needed.

But most importantly, people should be aware of the role of men in the issue, Hung said.

UNFPA Vietnam Acting Chief Representative, Mandeep K. O’Brien, says men play an important role in promoting gender equality and ending domestic violence.

Non-violent male role models should be encouraged while the relations between men and women should be strengthened via the activities of such organisations as the women and farmers’ unions, she added.

More effort should be made to involve men and boys in domestic violence prevention, she said.

According to participants, many programmes and projects have been conducted to help women escape domestic violence. However, participants said if domestic violence prevention activities do not focus on improving men’s awareness and change their behaviour, the gap between men and women will widen and violence will increase.

At the workshop, some non-governmental schemes to involve men in domestic violence prevention were introduced.-VNA