Empowering women in the public sector: high-level project launch

06 Mar 2009

HA NOI – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will today officially launch a programme to empower women in the public sector and equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to take on leadership positions. The project launch is timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March.

High-level Government representatives, including Dao Viet Trung, Vice Minister of MOFA, Women’s Union Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa, representatives from the National Committee for the Advancement of Women and UNDP will be present at the high-level launch ceremony.

“On 8 March International Women’s Day will be marked around the world and this day provides us with an opportunity to reflect on issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Over the past few years, Viet Nam has steadily improved its already high ranking in the gender index, part of the global Human Development Index. However, we need to work together to find every means to release the potential of almost half of Viet Nam’s workforce.  I strongly believe this project will play a vital role in empowering women in the public sector and ensuring they continue to play a key role in the further development of Viet Nam,” says Setsuko Yamazaki, country director of UNDP Viet Nam.  

The five-year project (Empowerment of Women in the Public Sector in the Context of International Economic Integration) will be carried out by MOFA, in collaboration with UNDP. It will help to break down the glass ceiling which women in the public sector face. In particular, the project focuses on research to identify the challenges faced by women in the public sector; development of policy recommendations; scholarships for talented Vietnamese women working in the public sector – for study abroad, research and participation in conferences; and the creation of a network to promote women’s leadership in the public sector in Viet Nam.

According to Vice Minister Trung, in the course of economic integration, the public sector in Viet Nam requires a pool of highly qualified people. The majority of staff in the public sector today are women and women are increasingly taking on more active and broad roles within the public sector. The Government is developing policies to help women advance in the public sector and is recruiting highly skilled and talented people, both men and women, in order to meet the demands of economic development and integration.

Approximately 47% of working women in Viet Nam are employed in the public sector and data from 2004 shows that women in the public sector were enjoying relatively better wages than men in other sectors. In 2008, Viet Nam was ranked 96 out of 179 countries on the gender-related development index and 62 in terms of gender empowerment. Viet Nam was also placed 31st in the world and first among eight ASEAN countries for its proportion of female parliamentarians.

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Notes to editors:
UNDP is the United Nations’ global development organization, a network advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

For further information, please contact:
Project: Ms Trinh Thi An Binh, National Communications Coordinator
Email: eowproject@gmail.com

UNDP: Ms Pernille Goodall, UN Communications Unit
Email: Pernille.goodall@undp.org Tel: +84 4 822 4383

UNDP Viet Nam