Statistics brochure on Women and Men in Viet Nam launched at the Consultative Group Meeting in Ha Noi

10 Dec 2002

Ha Noi - UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Jordan Ryan, and Madam Ha Thi Khiet, Chairwomen of the National Committee for the Advancement of Women, launched an important new compilation of statistics on women and men in Viet Nam.

The launch of the brochure was deliberately timed to coincide with the Consultative Group Meeting in Ha Noi on 9 – 11 December 2002.  Mr Ryan said that “the CG meeting was the perfect opportunity to remind high-level leaders, and the ODA community who are meeting to discuss Viet Nam’s development, that women and men experience life differently, have different needs and priorities, and are affected differently by policies and development interventions”.  

“As partners in Viet Nam’s development we must be continually mindful that development initiatives cannot be successful or sustainable unless they are designed and implemented in a manner that takes full account of the differing interests, needs, and priorities of men and women” Ryan added.

The new brochure, which was developed with the support of the NCFAW-UNDP-Netherlands Project VIE 01-015-01 'Gender in Public Policy', contains 26 items of data that highlight differences for women and men grouped under 5 categories:

  1. Health and population
  2. Education and literacy
  3. Household composition
  4. Political representation
  5. Labour and economic activity

The brochure is an accessible, and, it is hoped, useful resource to support development efforts in Viet Nam from a gender perspective. The brochure is intended to raise awareness of, and explain certain key gender differences – for women and men. 

Madam Khiet noted that the brochure is unique in that it reminds us that gender inequality impacts on all members of society, and that gender roles and stereotypes not only affect women and girls, but men and boys also.  Madam Khiet gave the example of health issues, noting that “although it is primarily women and girls who experience poorer health, there are also significant health issues that can be seen to be gender-based for men and boys”.  For example; half of all Vietnamese men use tobacco products, and more than one third of all Vietnamese smoke cigarettes; men make up the vast majority (85%) of people recorded as being infected with HIV. Vietnamese men between the ages of 15 and 49 years are injured in traffic accidents much more frequently than women (more than double the amount).

The majority of the 26 items of data however, relate to gender inequality issues for women and girls.  Examples include illiteracy, where women constitute over two thirds of the entire illiterate population; representation in the Judiciary, where women make up only 22 percent of the Judiciary in Central courts, 27 percent in Provincial, and 35 percent in District courts; and stunting where girls suffer stunting at a greater rate than boys, on average.

Participants at the Consultative Group meeting were reminded that it is essential for everyone involved in development activities to take responsibility for deliberate and determined actions to understand fully the gender perspectives of our work, and to ensure that our efforts effectively address gender disparities and build gender equality.

Gender equality cannot be achieved by one or a few gender-focused groups acting alone.  It can only be achieved where there is strong leadership, and broad commitment and action by all of government and partners, at all levels, and in all sectors. 

The brochure launched today will assist policy planners and implementers in realizing that, while Viet Nam has made many achievements in this important area, there is still much work to be done..
Madam Khiet encouraged leaders at the CG meeting to obtain further copies of the brochures (in Vietnamese and English) from:

Contact Information

The NCFAW Resource Center
39 Hang Chuoi St, Hanoi
Phone (84 4) 821 0068
NCFAW web site: www.upqgphunu.gov.vn
UNDP Web site: www.undp.org,vn