Findings of an “Assessment of the situation of women in the criminal justice system in Vietnam” were issued in Hanoi on October 18, in a bid to ensure the gender equality effectiveness of the country’s laws.

The report, presented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam, suggests practical interventions for the short-term as well as recommendations for long-term policy changes to improve the situation of women in the justice system.

Zhuldyz Akisheva, Country Manager of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vietnam, underscored Vietnam’s tremendous strides in developing its legal system to strengthen gender equality.

The promulgation of the 2006 Law on Gender Equality (GE Law) illustrates the Government’s commitments in the field, along with the adopting of related policies, she said.

However, despite this legislative progress, Akisheva added that women in Vietnam still encounter many difficulties in many social issues, including the criminal justice system.

The report started in November 2012 with the participation of both international and national experts from UNODC, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The assessment helps make clear the realities that women face when dealing with the justice system, and identifies obstacles and challenges that affect their access to justice.

No matter who they are, victims and offenders, or professionals in the justice system, women still face gender preconception, said Akisheva.

The report focuses on three general areas including women who have experienced violence, women in conflict with the law, and women working in the criminal justice system. Each chapter provides an overview of the current situation and the normative framework, and makes strategic recommendations for policymakers in Vietnam.-VNA