Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a five-year national plan that will significantly improve awareness of and attitude to gender equality and promote it in all workplaces including the higher echelons of the Government.

A report posted on the Government's website says the programme will, step-by-step, bridge the gender gap, particularly in fields where gender inequality is high at the moment.

The programme will be implemented nationwide through five projects, the first of which will spread the message of gender equality to 70 percent of the State's employees, labourers, servicemen, students at all levels and residents.

The second project will open training courses for management staff and officials specialising in gender equality, set up a database as well as a mechanism for assessing the implementation of related laws. These steps aim to improve the State's management capacity and effectiveness in fostering gender equality.

The third project will help female representatives of the National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels improve their qualifications and skills. It will also help aspiring female candidates to national and local legislative bodies prepare for attaining membership for the 2016-20 term.

Under the fourth project, five pilot models will be established to address and reduce gender inequality in localities where it is highly prevalent.

The models will focus on supporting women to get jobs or do business; building nursery homes at offices, vocational centres, industrial and export processing zones in order to facilitate female employment and provide better working conditions; preventing and mitigating domestic violence impacts; supporting communes to set up and amend regulations on gender equality; and providing counselling services on gender equality for ethnic minorities residing in mountainous areas.

Social work centres will be established in the country's four major regions under the fifth project. The centres will provide many services related to promoting gender parity, including the provision of shelter and support for needy women.

The total capital of the programme is estimated at 955 billion VND (46 million USD), most of which will be sourced from the State budget./.