Ten women from Vietnam ’s public sector have been awarded scholarships and research grants by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Cambridge Overseas Trust foundation to undertake postgraduate training at Cambridge University in England.

Of these officials, two of the women were provided with full scholarships to study for master degrees at Cambridge in the fields of development studies and education.

The other eight women will receive grants to pursue research on important issues for Vietnam , ranging from insurance policies, educating ethnic minority children in languages to analysing the lessons Vietnam has learnt from trade disputes.

Addressing the scholarship’s awards ceremony in Hanoi on August 28, the UNDP’s director in Vietnam , Setsuko Yamazaki praised the country for its success in closing the gender gap over the last 20 years.

She said, however, there are still many traditional attitudes and social expectations that impede a lot of women from reaching their full leadership potential.

The scholarships and research grants are just one of the spin offs from a five-year project by UNDP and Ministry of Foreign Affairs project to empower women in the public sector.

With support from the Cambridge Overseas Trusts Foundation, the project will provide up to six masters scholarships for talented women in the public sector to study at Cambridge University annually.

It will also fund women working in state sectors to conduct research related to preferential fields as well as help the country to reach its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)./.