Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Drastic efforts are crucial to ending gender inequality and violence against women and girls, said Le Khanh Luong, Vice Director of the Gender Equality Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Speaking at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on October 16 on communication training on gender equality, gender and domestic violence prevention, Luong said that women and girls are still victims of trafficking, abusing, sexual assault and violence.

He said that the first action month against gender-based violence, part of a national action programme on gender equality and domestic violence, was held in 2016 with more than 800 activities involving over 200,000 people.

This year, the action month, starting from November 15, aims to change public awareness of gender equality.

Ha Thi Quynh Anh, an official from the United Nations Population Fund said that inter-sectoral support, including health care and legal aid, is necessary to help women and girls recover from domestic violence.

She also stressed the need for stronger communications to raise public awareness of gender equality.

Nguyen Thi Diem Chi from Ho Chi Minh City Women’s Newspaper said that the newspaper’s hotlines have received many reports on domestic and gender-based violence, which show that the problem is still common.

Statistics show that as many as 34 percent of married women have suffered from physical or sexual abuse, the majority of whom did not reveal their situation or seek help from public services.

Meanwhile, backward concepts have caused a serious at-birth gender imbalance at 112.2 boys over 100 girls (2016). It is predicted that in 2030, up to 4.5 million Vietnamese men will be unlikely to have spouses.

From 2005-2009, nearly 6,000 women and girls were victims of human trafficking in Vietnam.-VNA