US$ 6.9 Million Project Further Helps Vietnam Promote Women's Rights

With the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Vietnam Farmers’ Union strikes to mobilize community participation to change their attitudes and take concrete actions to prevent gender-based violence and other harmful practices.

The Vietnam Farmers’ Union and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) confirm their continued efforts to change social norms in addressing gender-based violence, harmful practices, and gender inequality and to promote women's rights.

As part of UNFPA's new 10th Country Programme, UNFPA is providing supporting to the Vietnam Farmer’s Union for innovative and digital initiatives to bring about social and behavioural change.

A new project titled “Prevention and response to gender-based violence and other harmful practices” was launched on May 31 in Hanoi within the framework of the UNFPA’s new 10th Country Programme for Vietnam from 2022 to 2026.

It aims at developing, amending, and implementing programs, policies, and laws, using an evidence and a human rights-based approach.

The Central Vietnam Farmers’ Union as the project owner will work closely with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and the Health Ministry.

The new project will be implemented in Hanoi, Thanh Hoa province, Da Nang city, and Lam Dong province with a total budget of US$ 6.9 million.

Addressing at the launch, Nguyen Xuan Dinh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union appreciated UNFPA’s technical support over the past years, especially in establishing the toll-free hotlines and providing care and support for rural women at risk of violence.

“The new project will be our contributions to addressing gender-based violence against women and girls in Vietnam. Vietnam Farmers’ Union pledges to implement the project in the most innovative and efficient manner in order to meet the need of Vietnamese women and girls, and to ensure their safety while addressing harmful social norms and practices toward gender prejudices, which are the core roots of gender-based violence,” Dinh said.

It is expected that the project will help provide evidence-based advocacy and technical advice to the revision of the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control and the Law on Gender Equality to ensure that anything relating to gender-based violence and harmful practices will be fully reflected in the laws, and to ensure that the laws are in compliance with not only the international standards but also to the relevant laws and policies within the present context of Vietnam.

The project will also develop and implement innovative and digital-based initiatives for social and behavioral change communications to mobilise community participation, with the focus on adolescents and youth; men and boys; and other vulnerable groups to change their attitudes and take actions to prevent gender-based violence and harmful practices.

Under the project, evidence-based and innovative strategies to engage men to take part in addressing harmful masculinity and building healthy relationships will be developed and piloted.

Moreover, the Responsible Father Programme will be replicated in at least three new provinces, and a crisis management centre for men will be piloted in building equitable, healthy, and non-violent relationships.

UNFPA Representative for Vietnam, Naomi Kitahara believes the partnership between UNFPA and the union will continue to thrive. The Farmers' Union has a large nationwide network and is able to mobilize Vietnam’s farmers for a social causes.

Kitahara stressed that addressing gender-based violence and harmful practices are one of the three main pillars in the new UNFPA Strategic Plan for 2022-2025, and a clear priority for UNFPA Vietnam’s new country program 2022-2026.

UNFPA Representative for Vietnam, Naomi Kitahara speaks at the event.

UNFPA will scale up efforts to end gender-based violence and harmful practices in Vietnam, she added.

The transformative results of the UNFPA’s corporate Strategic Plan include Zero preventable maternal death; Zero unmet need for family planning; and Zero gender-based violence and other harmful practices against women and girls.

The executive board of the UNFPA approved in early 2022 the new 10th country program for Vietnam in the amount of US$ 26.5 million to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030, targeting those at risk of being left behind, including women and girls, adolescents and youth, older persons, ethnic minorities, migrant workers, people with disabilities, and survivors of gender-based violence.

The program is in alignment with the UN's Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Vietnam to fulfill the transformative promise of “Leaving no one behind.”

The findings of the 2019 UNFPA-supported National Study on Violence against Women in Vietnam showed that nearly 2 in 3 women (62.9%) experienced at least one form of physical, sexual, psychological, and economic violence and controlling behaviors by their husband in their lifetime.

And half of the women who experienced physical and or/sexual violence by a husband/partner has told no one about it, and most of the women (90.4%) experiencing violence did not seek any help. Therefore, domestic violence is very much hidden in Vietnamese society.

In addition, the study showed that the prevalence of violence against women is higher in rural areas (28%) than in urban areas (22%).