New UN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs project offers women leaders a bright future

21 Jul 2008

HA NOI - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today a USD 5.05 million initiative to empower talented women employed in Viet Nam’s public sector to take on leadership roles in various fields. The initiative will also create opportunities for women to undertake advanced study and research at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Dao Viet Trung emphasized at the signing ceremony that in the history of Vietnamese people, many women have played very important roles in protecting and building  the  country.  In  the  current  era,  the  Party  and  the  Government  pay  particular consideration to the advancement of women.

This new project, entitled “Empowerment of Women in the Public Sector in the Context of International Economic Integration,” will help women in the public sector to develop their leadership abilities and to break through the glass ceiling that now confronts them in their public sector careers. A series of studies will be written to identify the obstacles and challenges faced by women working in the public sector. The project will then help formulate a comprehensive package of policy recommendations to the Government to empower women working in various areas of the public sector in the context of broader and deeper international integration.

The project will also provide a group of exceptionally talented women with the opportunity to undertake postgraduate training in any discipline at the University of Cambridge. The Cambridge Overseas Trust, a foundation affiliated with the University of Cambridge, has agreed to provide matching grants in support of tuition fees and living allowances for these future female leaders. These and other women will be provided with the opportunity to undertake practical policy research projects in collaboration with Cambridge scholars. This will provide valuable experience in evidence-based policy making and in the case of doctoral students, will finance dissertation research.

“Training,  recruiting  and  retaining  highly  qualified  civil  servants  is  key  to  the  efficient management of state affairs. One can already see that this will be a key challenge for Viet Nam in the years to come,” said UNDP Deputy Country Director Christophe Bahuet. “This project takes an innovative approach, but one that hopes to meet the Government’s emerging requirements for excellence in its civil service in the era of globalization, whilst contributing to greater participation of Vietnamese women in the country’s leadership,” he added.

The project was signed at an official ceremony attended by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Dao Viet Trung, representatives of UNDP, the British Embassy, MOFA, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Office of the Government, the Vietnamese Women Members of Parliament Group and the Viet Nam Women’s Union.

Vice Minister Dao Viet Trung said that, “The new project will provide many talented women leaders with enhanced ability, and then these women leaders will contribute to the comprehensive, powerful development of Viet Nam in the context of international economic integration.” He further expressed the Vietnamese Government’s appreciation for UNDP’s valuable and effective assistance in designing and funding this important project.

Contact Information

UNDP: Ms. Nguyen Viet Lan, UN Communications Unit,  nguyen.viet.lan@undp.org 84-4-822 4383 ext.121

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Mr. Le Hong Hai, Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation, MOFA
lehonghai@mofa.gov.vn, 84-4-799 3612