© United Nations Viet Nam\2010\Aidan Dockery

UNDP is working to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, so women and girls can participate in and benefit from economic progress and development.  Building on past achievements, in particular the 2009-2011 Joint Programme on Gender Equality between the UN and Government that contributed to the implementation of the Law on Gender Equality and Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control, UNDP’s work today is focused on breakthrough areas for change.  Amplifying women’s voices in decision-making, through the empowerment of women in the public sector, is a key strategy to breakdown the gender barriers.

During the next four years to 2016, UNDP plans to focus on a range of initiatives through the second phase of the Empowerment of Women in the Public Sector project. Key Communist Party bodies will be engaged to ensure women are represented on the electoral ballot, the advancement of ethnic minority women’s careers in public administration will be supported and ministries encouraged to meet women representation targets. Meanwhile, the Ho Chi Minh Academy of Politics and Public Administration is being guided to set up the Center for Women in Politics and Public Administration, to advance gender equality in the public sector and representation of women in leadership positions.

UNDP sees Land Rights as another high profile issue where the empowerment of women needs to be cultivated. In 2012, a major UN-commissioned study across the full range of socio-economic and ethnic groups in urban and rural areas, revealed that women do not have equal access to land. Inconsistencies in laws, little access to legal advice, entrenched discrimination and women’s exclusion from land following divorce or the death of their husbands were spotlighted as significant obstacles.  UNDP, through a two-year project to wrap up in 2013, has worked to address these obstacles through delivery of quality, evidence-based research for policy dialogue and women empowerment initiatives piloted to promote more equitable treatment for land holders in Viet Nam.

The UN-REDD Programme in Viet Nam, meanwhile, is busy empowering women to make a difference.

The programme, which works to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, is articulating recommendations from a gender analysis on how gender should be mainstreamed and women empowered throughout the implementation of the UN-REDD Phase 2 Programme to start in 2013. Building on the success of the UN-REDD Programme (2009-2012), this second phase will help Viet Nam undertake transformational forestry sector changes and build the country’s capacities to fully deploy REDD+ from 2015.

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a key UNDP focus area to help Viet Nam tackle gender stereotypes and policy gaps by recognizing the important roles women and girls play in DRR and climate change adaptation.

As women are significantly under represented in decision-making at key disaster risk management institutions in Viet Nam, UNDP has engaged the Viet Nam Women’s Union in issues relevant to DRR legislation with Government agencies and National Assembly sessions.

We are supporting the Viet Nam Women’s Union in the documentation of good DRR practices to be included in a report to be submitted to the MARD in 2013 to justify the union’s official role in DRR decision-making at all levels. Significant gender mainstreaming efforts are also being made in Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) work, with sex-disaggregated data collection and dissemination supported through our Viet Nam Statistical Development Strategy efforts. Sex-disaggregation/gender disparities are also used in MDG and Human Development Report output along with policy initiatives under poverty reduction and urban poverty projects.

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