First-ever symphony concert to promote gender equality in Vietnam

The event is an initiative between the Vietnam's Government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to join hands to raise public awareness and increase the value of women and girls within the context of addressing domestic violence and gender-biased sex selection in Vietnam.

At the press conference introducing the concert. Photo: UNFPA

On the occasion of the National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MOCST) and the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra will organize a Symphony Concert “Girls Deserve to Shine” at the Hanoi Opera House on November 27.

This is the first-ever symphony concert, which will feature promising and outstanding young female soloists to connect people, women and men, boys and girls from different socio-cultural backgrounds in different parts of Vietnam and in different parts of the world.

Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative said “the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provided us with 17 development goals, but SDG5 is particularly important to ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’ in all circumstances, including in crisis and humanitarian situations.”

“The 2030 Agenda has pledged to leave no one behind. This means that in our development efforts, girls must be a priority. The world, including Vietnam, should ensure that all the opportunities are granted to girls as they mature into adulthood. The culture of ‘boy preference’ has to be changed, where an equal valuing of girls is something that we must instill in all the contexts because “Girls deserve to shine”, she went on.

The concert will also be livestreamed on the UNFPA Vietnam fanpage and the UNFPA Vietnam Youtube channel.

Gender equality in Vietnam has improved over the past decades, however, domestic violence and gender-biased sex selection as harmful practices for women and girls continue to remain in the country.

Results of the National Study on Violence against Women in Vietnam in 2019 shows:

63% of women experienced at least one form of violence (physical, sexual, emotional, controlling behaviours, and/ or economic) from a husband during their lifetime

26% of women experienced physical violence from a husband during their lifetime

13% of women experienced sexual violence from a husband during their lifetime

47% of women experienced emotional violence from a husband during their lifetime

21% of women experienced economic abuse from a husband during their lifetime

Vietnam experiences a productivity loss equivalent to 100,507 billion VND, which is about to 1.8% of GDP (2018) due to physical and/or sexual violence against women by their husbands/partners.

Meanwhile, the country is forecast to face a severe gender imbalance by 2026, with an excess of 1.38 million males, according to the General Statistics Office.

Tu Anh