Youth shapes gender norms

Mar 6, 2016

Ha Noi 6 March 2016 - More than 2,000 students from the University of Commerce; Ha Noi Academy of Theatre and Cinema; Phuong Dong University; etc. gathered at the University of Commerce today to join the Launch of Youth Festival #HowAbnormal Deconstructing Gender Stereotypes.

The Festival was jointly organized by Viet Nam’s Student Newspaper and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) as part of the #‎HowAbnormal‬ campaign. By asking “How abnormal the normal really is”, the campaign aims to raise public awareness, especially the youth, of the negative gender stereotypes that confine women and men to certain ways of being.

“We launched the #HowAbnormal campaign to encourage people to stop and think about gender stereotypes,” said Ms Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam. “Stereotypes are preconceived ideas of behavior and what we expect of others. Often, it means oversimplifying reality and forgetting how unique every human being really is”.

During the event, students watched a number of films produced with support from the UN, joined the Drama Contest and dialogue on gender stereotypes and shaped new gender norms for no one to be held back by any social norms and for all people to achieve their full potential.

Students visited and actively participated in activities towards gender equality at different booths, such as HeForShe/ Change Makers; UN Volunteers/ Sustainable Development Goals, etc. A feature of the event was the Food Festival with male students making and selling the food. The hair designers of Trung Tran Hairdresser cut and designed for female students for free. Male members of the Architecture College’s Guitar club sang the best love songs.

Specially, Tung Duong joined as the accompanied artist of the Festival, alongside other famous male artists: people’s artist Trung Hieu, esteemed artist Do Thanh Hai, MC Hoang Anh Duy, and young actor Binh An. Many famous female artists also made guest appearances, such as people’s artist Minh Hoa, violinist Khanh Linh, MC Bui Mai Trang, Miss Viet Nam Dang Thi Ngoc Han.

 “Viet Nam Student Newspaper is under the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union,” said Editor-in-Chief Nguyen Huy Loc. “Beside political communication, we are always interested in those activities that promote advancement and humanitarian values among the youth. Through students, we hope to reach out to people of all social strata with the campaign’s main message - For no one to be held back by any gender stereotype”.

At the Launch, Ms Chamberlain shared important information from a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute that by advancing women’s equality, global GDP could grow by twelve trillion US dollars by 2025. She called on students to make commitments to shape gender norms towards the benefit of all people.

Many students actively responded and took the pledge at https://how-abnormal.antoan.org showing the determination to shape gender norms towards a more equal and just society.

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