Vietnam is third Best in Asia Girls' Leadership Index

Vietnam ranked third among highest-ranking countries on the Asia Girls’ Leadership Index, conducted by Plan International, which is a girls’ rights organization.
Vietnam is third Best in Asia Girls' Leadership Index
Vietnam is third Best in Asia Girls' Leadership Index

Vietnam ranks third in the recently released 2020 Asia Girls’ Report by Plan International. 

The 2020 Asia Girls’ Report, presents the current state of girls’ leadership in Asia, based on the findings of our research (including a literature review, survey and key informant interviews) and the Asia Girls’ Leadership Index. Using available data from official global databases, the Index measures the opportunities of adolescent girls and young women in the 19 countries that make up the Association of South East Asian Countries (ASEAN) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to develop and demonstrate leadership capabilities.

The first research of this kind, it gives insights into key trends and issues that enable or constrain empowerment and leadership of adolescent girls and young women across six domains: education, health, economic opportunities, protection, political voice and representation and laws and policies. 

In which, Section 4 provides the integrated findings of our research and the Asia Girls’ Leadership Index across six domains: education, health, economic opportunities, protection, political voice and representation, and national laws and policies. The Index is a composite index that measures the opportunities of adolescent girls and young women in the 19 SAARC and ASEAN countries to develop and demonstrate leadership capabilities.

The Index rankings, reflect the current situation of girls’ leadership in each country relative to the other countries. Of note, no single country received the same ranking across all domains (i.e., no country ranked first or last across all six domains). This suggests that, when compared with their neighbours in the region, some countries are doing better than others on certain domains, but no one country is excelling across all domains. The rankings alone mask the complex and variable reality behind the relative positions. The Index values offer a more nuanced and practical understanding of girls’ leadership in the region. 

The three highest-ranking countries on the Index are Singapore (.778), the Philippines (.717) and Vietnam (.712), all of which are members of ASEAN. Singapore’s Index value is considerably higher than that of the second- and third-ranked countries, largely due to its first-place scores in four domains. The difference between the second- and third-ranking countries (the Philippines and Vietnam, respectively) is more subtle, with the Philippines’ component domain rankings ranging from first (laws and policies) to 12th (health) and Vietnam’s component domain rankings ranging from first (voice and participation) to 11th (protection).

Minh Thu, 22 years old, from Vietnam representing the voices of girls and young women across Asia participated in the online launching of the Asia Girls Report 2020: Introducing the Girls Leadership Index.

On October 9 morning, a 22-year-old girl from Vietnam representing the voices of girls and young women across Asia have participated in the online launching of the Asia Girls Report 2020: Introducing the Girls Leadership Index.

Taking part in this event was Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Kung Phoak, representatives of ASEAN Committee on Women and Children (ACWC) and representatives of Plan International Asia-Pacific Regional Hub.

During the panel discussion, Minh Thu represented the voice of girls across the region and shared her life experience: “…Us girls often play the minor role. We often stay behind to support boys on their pursuit of their dreams. I strongly believe that, girls are also capable of incredible feats, but they don’t get the same opportunities to do so. I think, first and foremost, is the external factor. We live in a digital-led and globalized world, but Asian society in general is still very much conservative and hold many gender biases. Secondly, girls tend to hold back as they lack the confidence to break through their own self-imposed limitations…”

Thu felt honored to partake in this event, and to see that her voice is heard, respected and valued just like any other participant. On this occasion, Thu wanted to spread her message of encouragement for girls across the world to step out of their own comfortzone, to find themselves and help improve the life for girls everywhere.

Minh Nguyen