Promoting gender responsive financial inclusion

It was one of the discussion topics of the meeting between Ms. Ha Thi Nga, President of Vietnam Women's Union and Mr. Shimizu Akira, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Vietnam on June 5th.
VWU President Ha Thi Nga and Chief Representative, JICA Vietnam Office Shimizu Akira

At the meeting, President Ha Thi Nga briefly introduced the Vietnam Women's Union (VWU), VWU's activities to support women in the Covid-19 pandemic, and its preparation for Women's Congresses at all levels and election to the National Assembly and People's Councils in 2021.

VWU President Ha Thi Nga and Chief Representative, JICA Vietnam Office Shimizu Akira

President Ha Thi Nga highly appreciated JICA’s supporting the VWU’s project on human trafficking prevention and responses (August 2009 - May 2011) and the current project "Promoting Gender Responsive Financial Inclusion through Vietnam Women's Union". For 3 years between March 2019 and March 2021, the project is to promote the development and provision of financial and non-financial services to meet women’s needs, especially the poor and disadvantaged women. The project has selected 3 financial service providers to participate in the project (i.e. Thanh Hoa Microfinance Institution, VPBank, and Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company). Currently, the project is in the process of analyzing demand-supply gaps and building and testing products.

VWU President Ha Thị Nga, VWU Vice-President Tran Thi Huong (the 4th and 3th, from the right side) and Chief Representative, JICA Vietnam Office Shimizu Akira (the 4th from the left side)

The Vietnam’s Government has approved the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion to 2025 with a Vision to 2030. The VWU is developing the Action Plan to implement this Strategy with the objective to improve access to and use of financial inclusion services by Vietnamese women. In particular, the VWU focuses on financial education to improve women's knowledge on financial inclusion. At the same time, the VWU will also further develop microfinance programs and projects within its system. The VWU currently has a microfinance institution at the central level and microfinance programs in 23 provinces and cities. The VWU hopes that the two sides will continue to have strategic and long-term cooperation, especially in gender responsive financial inclusion.

In response, Mr. Shimizu Akira expressed his pleasure to see the development of cooperation between the VWU and JICA over the years. JICA will continue to support cooperation activities, enhancing gender mainstreaming and women's development in Japanese ODA projects for Vietnam./.

Translated by Int’l Relations Department