The Vietnam Farmers’ Union and the United Nations Population Fund co-organised a running event in Hanoi on November 23 in response to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls (November 25).

Domestic violence is a pressing issue in many countries, including Vietnam , said President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan. He cited statistics that showed 178,847 domestic violence cases were reported in the country from 2009 to 2012, of which women were the victims in 106,520 cases.

He noted that the main cause of violence against women is poor awareness about gender equality and a lack of mutual respect.

Over the past few years, Vietnam has built a legal framework on gender equality and domestic violence prevention.

The VFF President urged the Ministries of Justice and Culture-Sports-Tourism as well as relevant agencies and organisations, including the Vietnam Farmers’ Union , to strengthen law enforcement and raise public awareness of the issue.

According to UN research, economic losses caused by domestic violence accounted for 1.5 percent of Vietnam ’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012.

In 1999, the UN designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, inviting governments, international and non-governmental organisations to launch awareness-raising campaigns on the issue.-VNA