In Vietnam, stereotypes confine women to certain ways of being, especially to hold “acceptable” careers and positions.
A common view held among citizens and supported by the media, is that women’s main domain is in the household and they are the main caregivers of children, the elderly and the ill. As a result, women are underrepresented in key areas of society including senior government positions.
Joining local partners and UN agencies the Canadian Embassy participated in a number of campaigns to highlight Canada’s support in promoting the rights of women in Vietnam; raise awareness of gender equality among the local youth and to get the local youth involved in promoting the gender equality and breaking gender stereotypes.
The Embassy funded initiatives to help end domestic violence in Vietnam. Support was given to the local NGO, “Research Center for Family Support and Community Development” to implement the project ‘Yes – We Can! Stop Violence against Women. By promoting the positive roles of men as good husbands, fathers, sons, and friends, the project aimed to stop violence against women.
The event started with a youth forum for hundreds of male students from the 3 universities involved in the project, followed by a motorbike parade for nearly 200 members of Honda Dream II Club.
"The message I want to send to girls and women throughout Vietnam, I wish for them to be able to do what they want. You can become a leader, work in the public areas of expertise, such as business, science, engineering, or hold a leadership position in your country."
In partnership with UN Women, UNDP, and Youth Union of Hanoi, a Hanoi bus tour promoted gender equality. Bus passengers included the famous Vietnamese actress Ms Minh Hoa, Ambassador Devine, representatives of UN Women, and Hanoi Youth Union and 50 students from Vietnamese universities, advocated for women’s empowerment and inspired female young students to follow their passions in their career and life. ‘Youth’s journey towards Gender Equality” received much media attention as local students engaged in dialogue.
"Over time I believe we can solve the inequality for women. I know that according to the millennium goals, Vietnam has done very well and the presence of women in parliament has increased. But overall, we still have a lot of work to do, not only in Vietnam but around the world, one in each country."
Canada is committed to work together to promote and protect women’s rights and gender equality.