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Apr 17, 2024 / 20:21

Vietnam’s election to UN Women Executive Board: Significant int’l recognition

Vietnam has adopted a number of international conventions on gender equality, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and passed the Law on Gender Equality in 2006.

The election of Vietnam to the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for the term 2025-2027 demonstrates “significant international recognition of Vietnam’s steadfast commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment.” 

Caroline T. Nyamayemombe, UN Women Representative in Vietnam. Photo: UN Women  

Caroline T. Nyamayemombe, UN Women Representative in Vietnam, commented on the move, saying it underscores “the strong partnership between Viet Nam and UN Women at both national and global levels.”

The Executive Board provides intergovernmental support and manages UN Women’s operational activities in accordance with the broad policy directives of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the duties outlined in the UN Charter.

She said it is a well-deserved appointment given that Vietnam has made strides in recent years to address gender disparities and advance women’s rights across various sectors, including legislation, politics, education, and employment.

Caroline T. Nyamayemombe regards the move as a milestone for Vietnam to promote its role in the United Nations organization, as during the 2025-2027 board term, UN Women will adopt a new global strategy that will seek to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, of which gender equality is central.

It will bring a wealth of insights pertinent to promoting gender equality from its richly diverse population and a distinctive socio-cultural milieu. For instance, Vietnam has managed to reduce multidimensional poverty and achieve middle-income status, yet currently, 10.3% of women globally live in extreme poverty. There are challenges and opportunities within digital and energy transitions and enhancing women’s participation in climate change, politics, global peace and stability. 

 A Hanoi youth union's member takes care of the public garden. Photo: The Hanoi Times

Regarding Vietnam’s efforts to advance women’s rights and empowerment, Caroline T. Nyamayemombe highlighted Vietnam’s momentum in advancing gender equality.

Since adopting the SDGs, we have seen Vietnam’s world ranking on Gender equality increasing from 83rd to 72nd out of 146 countries (2023, World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index).

On this occasion, she mentioned four notable improvements in Vietnam since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals:

Vietnam has continued to strengthen its policy and legal framework on gender equality, for instance, the Law supporting SME growth (2017); Amendments to the Domestic Violence and Protection law (2022); and the Labor Code amendment (2019).

Vietnam has increased women’s political participation in the 2021 election, with the proportion of female deputies in the National Assembly increasing to 30% - the highest since 1976, higher than the global average of 25%.

Vietnam has among the highest female labor force participation in the world. It is almost as high as men’s (72% for women compared to 82% for men).

Vietnam recently adopted its first National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security in January 2024 and has surpassed the set target of female participation in peacekeeping operations contribution.

 Vietnam makes progress in advancing girls' and women's rights.