HA NOI, 19 March 2012 - The Government - UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality has created a strong foundation for the government of Viet Nam to continue its important work to promote gender equality and women's empowerment, emphasized both the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the UN in Viet Nam, at the closing ceremony of the Joint Programme on Gender Equality (JPGE)organized today in Ha Noi.
Launched exactly three years ago, the JPGE aimed to improve the capacity of national and provincial authorities and other duty bearers to effectively implement, monitor and evaluate the Law on Gender Equality and the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control. The total budget of the programme was USD4,683,516, of which more than USD4.5 million came from the Spanish Government through the Millennium Development Goal Achievement Fund (MDG-F)
This Joint Programme supported the aim of the One UN initiative: to reduce overlap and deliver more coherent and effective development support to Viet Nam. This was the first time that so many UN agencies worked together in one Joint Programme to achieve shared strategic goals. However, what made this programme special was the joint work between the UN, the government of Spain and the government of Viet Nam through three implementing partners: MOLISA, the General Statistics Office (GSO) and the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism (MOCST).
By combining the collective experience and knowledge of twelve UN agencies a high-quality programme was developed to help Viet Nam advance gender equality and women's empowerment. "With 12 UN agencies working in partnership with the Government of Viet Nam and the Government of Spain, we were able to form a critical mass and speak with one voice. Working together, we were better placed to bring about change at the highest level, promoting gender equality for making a real difference in the lives of women and men, girls and boys throughout the country," said Mr Bruce Campbell, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam.
Viet Nam has made impressive achievements in gender equality. However, there are still important gender differences hindering many women, men, girls and boys in Viet Nam from reaping the full benefits of economic and social development and harnessing their fullest individual potential.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hoa, Vice Minister of MOLISA highlighted that Viet Nam has a long history of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. "However, institutional capacity in the areas of data collection, gender analysis, implementation, monitoring and reporting on the laws and policies remains weak and the JPGE helped to address these issues," said the Vice Minister.
After three years implementation, this joint initiative has gained significant achievements. Firstly, awareness and understanding of the two laws has increased among officials from state management agencies, line ministries and mass organizations. Secondly, knowledge on ways to implement, monitor, evaluate and report on these two laws has also improved. Thirdly, the capacity of officials to mainstream gender into their work has been strengthened. In addition, increased data on gender is now available from the population and housing census, various research initiatives, as well as engendering data collection instruments such as the Labour Force Survey.
"After attending a training of trainers course on gender equality organised by the JPGE in 2010, I facilitated some further training courses to raise awareness and understanding on the two laws among officials of the Department for Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA) of Vinh Long province and other related provincial departments. Thanks to the Joint Programme on gender equality, my knowledge on how to effectively implement, monitor and report on these two laws has been strengthened. Based on the knowledge and experienced gained from this progamme, we will continue our efforts in addressing the issue gender inequality and domestic violence in our province," said Mr Tran Ngoc Chi, Chief of Office, DOLISA in Vinh Long province.
At the ceremony, all participants agreed that the Joint Programme created a strong foundation for all gender stakeholders to continue the work to promote gender equality. Representatives from MOLISA, GSO and MOCST committed their continued efforts to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment.
For the UN, gender equality is a key priority and the One Plan for 2012-2016 recognizes this. Over the next five years, the UN will invest around 40 million USD in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment – double of what the UN spent between 2006 and 2011.
The achievements from the Joint Programme on Gender Equality need to be sustained and further applied to the provincial and community levels so that all women and men, whether from urban or rural areas, or from majority or minority ethnic groups, can enjoy life under the same conditions of equality and non-discrimination.
"The goal of achieving gender equality needs to be continually pursued in a coherent, integrated and mutually supportive manner as demonstrated in the Joint Programme on Gender Equality. We are looking forward to continuing the strong partnership that we have established over the last three years, in our efforts to make a real difference in the lives of Vietnamese people,” said Mr. Campbell at the opening remarks of the ceremony.
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