Vietnam government pays attention to gender parity despite Covid-19 hinh anh 1Female workers are prioritised in the Government’s policies to support COVID-19-hit people. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed many developments in society, and even threatens Vietnam’s progress on gender equality. To respond, the Government has integrated gender-based programmes into all policies to aid socio-economic recovery.

Great strides in gender gap reduction

Vietnam’s efforts to ensure gender equality have been hailed by the international community for years. 

Vietnam’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2019 is 0.704, putting the country in the high human development category and positioning it at 117 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 1990 - 2019, the country’s HDI value increased by almost 46 percent, which is among the highest HDI growth rates in the world.

Vietnam has been performing well in terms of gender equality. With a Gender Development Index value of 0.997, it ranks 65th out of 162 countries and is the highest among five country groups.
According to Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha, with the determined approach of the government, Vietnam has attained great achievements in closing gender gap across sectors, contributing to socio-economic development.

“The 15th National Assembly was elected in May last year, with 499 deputies, including 151 females or 30.26 percent of the total. This is a vivid illustration to guide the country’s efforts in ensuring gender equality, and for the sectors and ministries to maintain and promote the national target on gender equality in the coming time”.

The 14th tenure went down in the 75-year history of the legislature as the first time a woman was sworn in as chair of the National Assembly – Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan - while another woman assumed the post of vice chair – Tong Thi Phong.

The number of female NA deputies holding leadership positions during the present tenure now accounts for nearly 40 percent of the total.

Meanwhile, female representatives at People’s Councils at the provincial level make up 26.5 percent, up 1.37 percent from the previous term; and at the district level, 27.9 percent, a rise of 3.2 percent as compared with the previous tenure.

The international community has acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts in gender equality.

The country ranks 51st globally, fourth in Asia and first in the ASEAN in term of female NA deputies.

Its gender equality index is also constantly rising as Vietnam was 87th position out of 153 countries surveyed for the narrowing of the gender gap.

Vietnam has a more significant percentage of women in senior leadership positions than the global average, according to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report.

The national strategy on gender equality for 2021-2030 sets the goal of closing gender gap to create equal opportunities for both men and women. The plan is to benefit from gender equality across politics, economy, healthcare, and education, contributing to sustainable development.

The strategy also includes new criteria on reducing the number of female workers in agriculture, increasing the number of support centres for women, and integrating gender equality into curricula.

More supports for women

The pandemic has posed formidable challenges for the country to accelerate its economic recovery and development. It has delayed measures to support pandemic-hit people, particularly vulnerable groups like migrant female workers and those working in the non-official sectors.

Vietnam government pays attention to gender parity despite Covid-19 hinh anh 2Financial support for a woman who sells lottery tickets to earn a living (Photo: VNA)
Le Khanh Luong, Acting Director General of the Department of Gender Equality at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the Government carried out a wide range of policies to support COVID-19-battered enterprises and workers, with female labourers given priority in social insurance, financial assistance and loan support.

Besides, services were developed to help women and kids respond to and prevent domestic violence during the pandemic.

In 2022, a programme to help with socio-economic development was issued by the Government, with gender equality integrated in all support policies with a view to ensure social security and livelihoods of pandemic-hit residents.

Additionally, the Government’s Decree No.125/2021/ND-CP on administrative sanctions related to gender equality is an important legal framework in promoting gender equality, and prevent gender-based violence./.