31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Oct 11, 2022 / 21:21

Sweden, Plan International enhance girl empowerment in Vietnam

The models supported by the Swedish Embassy and Plan International enable girls to challenge harmful norms and stereotypes to lead the change for a better life.

It’s been the 4th consecutive year since the Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi participated in Plan International’s signature Girls Takeover series to empower girls in Vietnam, where son preference remains prevalent.

 Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe let a girl in Quang Tri take over her role as a part of Girls Takeover series. Photos: Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi

On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child today (October 11), Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe visited A Tuc primary and secondary school in the central province of Quang Tri and joined in youth-led activity to end child, early and forced marriage.  

During the activities, the Swedish Ambassador let a girl take over her role as a part of Girls Takeover. “Girls Takeover” is an initiative by Plan International to provide opportunities for girls to experience leadership roles in various fields.

“I have had the opportunity to listen to energetic and resourceful girls. I have met girls who are proud leaders of their communities, girls who are brave to challenge harmful norms and stereotypes, they all aspire to lead the change they expect in a better world with gender equality,” Swedish Ambassador Ann Måwe remarked.

“This is why we wish to support them and contribute to their empowerment,” she noted.

This year, H.T. Hau (Pa Co ethnic minority) and H.T. Hang (Van Kieu ethnic minority), students at A Tuc School, had a chance to take on the positions of the Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe and Plan International’s Acting Country Director Pham Thu Ba.

Hau and Hang talked about their efforts and described their peers’ struggles against the child, early, and forced marriage. The two students also shared how they overcame challenges and wanted to create meaningful change in their community.

Hau shared her excitement to take on the position of the Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam for the first time: “Where I live, I have only seen female teachers and a Commune Vice Chairwoman, and I have never thought that women could be an ambassador or an acting country director. Today, after “taking over”, I am honored and confident. I want girls to understand that girls and boys are equal.”

In A Tuc School,  Ann Måwe and Ba introduced ‘Em Vui’, an online platform designed to empower the digital capacity of ethnic minority girls, boys, young women, and men (aged 10 to 24 years). The platform helps improve digital literacy skills and online safety knowledge within the “Protection of girls and boys from cyberbullying and gender-based cyber violence” project.

The platform helps ethnic students understand their rights, improve their online safety capacity, and protect themselves from potential harms, including human trafficking and child marriage, especially when more children, adolescents, and youth are using the internet to learn and access services.

 Girls Takeover, an initiative by Plan International, reaches ethnic students in Quang Tri Province. 

The 2021-24 Em Vui project, entitled "Protection of girls and boys from cyberbullying and gender-based cyber violence", aligns with the "National Plan for Cyber Security and Support Healthy Online Interaction for Children, 2021-2025".

The project will be carried out at national and provincial levels. It aims to protect adolescents, particularly girls and vulnerable groups, from cyberbullying and gender-based cyber violence, establish protective mechanisms to protect children, especially girls and vulnerable groups, from online abuse, and ensure children's safety in cyberspaces.

Plan International’s Acting Country Director, Pham Thu Ba asserted: “We strongly believe that project activities, including offline promotion events like this and other online activities on the ‘Em Vui’ platform, will not only improve online safety knowledge and skills of ethnic youth but also offer them opportunities of self-development so that they can be the change they aspire in the future.”

 Girls Takeover initiative gets strong support among Van Kieu and Pa Co ethnic minorities in Quang Tri Province.