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Nov 28, 2022 / 11:45

Young Vietnamese people run for zero violence against women and girls

The race helps improve public awareness and calls for social change to end violence against women and girls.

More than 450 people, including students from the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, have joined the “Run for Zero Violence against Women and Girls in Vietnam” to say NO to gender-based violence.

The running race was organized in Yen So Park, Hanoi, by the Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender – Family – Women and Adolescent (CSAGA) as commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam in partnership with the Government of Australia.

 Nguyen Van Anh, Director of the Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender – Family – Women and Adolescent (CSAGA) speaks at the running race held in Hanoi on Nov 27. Photos: UNFPA Vietnam

In the opening remarks, Nguyen Van Anh, the Director of CSAGA, said a happy society is one where all people, including women and children, are safe and healthy. “We are here today to run together to become stronger and happier and spread the message that life is full of happy moments thanks to love, respect, protection, and care for ourselves and others.”

Joining the race, hundreds of students from the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) expect to show their roles and share responsibilities in raising public awareness and changing people’s attitudes and behaviors toward gender-based harmful practices.

The move aims to respect and protect women and girls and end domestic and gender-based violence.

The race also attracted representatives from social organizations, diplomatic missions, and the UN agencies in Vietnam, whose work focuses on promoting gender equality and protecting women and girls.

In her opening remarks, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pauline Tamesis, stressed: “I am calling on everyone to help us spread the message of the Race today and act as an agent for change towards ending domestic and gender-based violence in Vietnam, thus building a country where all women and girls are respected and protected.”

Australian Deputy Ambassador Mark Tattersall emphasized at the event: “Let the vibrant energy from this Run reach people across Vietnam so that people know violence is not acceptable, that bystanders to violence against children and women do not stay silent, and that services and support to break the cycle are increasing in Vietnam.”

With the slogan “Break The Silence, Stop The Violence”, the running race is one of many joint efforts of CSAGA, UNFPA, and the Government of Australia, together with other stakeholders, to end violence against women and girls.

This running race is part of the annual “Action Month for Gender Equality and Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence”, which is set in Vietnam from November 15 to December 15. 

Before the running, the participants shared hundreds of messages calling for eliminating gender-based violence and respecting and protecting women and girls. A mini-game was also organized, disseminating information about gender equality and gender-based violence.

 UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pauline Tamesis (C) and Australian Deputy Ambassador Mark Tattersall (R) at the event.  

Violence in Vietnam

“We cannot deny that gender-based and domestic violence is prevalent in Vietnam,” Pauline Tamesis stated.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Violence against Women in Vietnam, which was conducted by the General Statistics Office (GSO) and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) with technical and financial support from UNFPA and the Government of Australia, two out of three women (62,9%) experienced one or more forms of physical, sexual, psychological, or economic violence by their husbands in their lifetime.

In addition, most women (90,4%) who experienced violence did not seek any help from formal services or authorities, and nearly half of them never told anyone about their experience. Gender-based violence was estimated to cost 1,81% of Vietnam’s GDP in 2018.

The Government of Vietnam has made a lot of efforts to prevent and respond to domestic and gender-based violence, according to Tamesis.

The latest achievement is the approval of the revised Domestic Violence Prevention and Control Law by the National Assembly in November to institute the rights-based and survivor-based approach in Vietnam’s legal instruments. In the common drive, UNFPA has been working with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST) over the past five years to lead and coordinate the revision of the Law.

“We can eliminate domestic and gender-based violence only when people change their attitudes and behaviors,” Tamesis noted in highlighting the role of the race in calling for social change to say NO to any forms of violence against women and girls.

 Participants of the running race at Yen So Park in Hanoi on Nov 27. 

In response to the national campaigns, Hanoi approved a project to prevent and respond to violence and abuse against women and girls in the 2022-2026 period.

The project is aimed to prevent, detect, and promptly support abused women and children, at the same time strictly handle acts of violence and abuse against women and children, giving them timely and effectively support in the distress and for the long-term cause.

It’s expected to provide basic social services to 80% of women and girls who were victims of domestic violence and human trafficking rings. In addition, 100% of state agencies, legal bodies, media, and socio-political organizations throughout the city get training on prevention and response to violence and abuse of women and children. Meanwhile, officials in charge of these issues would be given training courses on gender-based equality.