Vietnam maintains momentum on advancing gender equality: UN Women Representative

The Vietnamese Government has maintained its momentum on advancing gender equality, said Caroline T. Nyamayemombe, UN Women Representative in Vietnam, in a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the occasion of the country’s election to the UN Women Executive Board for the 2025-2027 term.
Vietnam is elected to the UN Women Executive Board for the 2025-2027 term. (Photo: VNA)

Following is the full text of the interview.

Reporter: How do you evaluate Vietnam's election to the UN Women Executive Board for the 2025 - 2027 term?

UN Women Representative: I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Vietnam on its election to the UN Women Executive Board for the term of 2025-2027. This is a significant international recognition of Vietnam's steadfast commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment. It also underscores the strong partnership between Vietnam and UN Women at both national and global levels.

Secondly, 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.

Reporter: Vietnam has made efforts to ensure the rights and advancement of women over the past time. Would you please evaluate these efforts?

UN Women Representative: The Government of Vietnam has maintained its momentum on 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). Despite the challenges that persist, I can cite four notable improvements since 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); The Labour 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 labour 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 been surpassing the set target of female participation in peacekeeping operations contribution.

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

Reporter: What are the UN Women’s recommendations for Vietnam to promote its role as a member of the UN Women Executive Board for the 2025 - 2027 term?

UN Women Representative: The Executive Board offers intergovernmental support and oversees the operational activities of UN Women, in alignment with the overarching policy directives of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and in adherence to the responsibilities delineated in the UN Charter. Furthermore, it is tasked with ensuring that UN Women remains attuned to the needs and priorities of recipient nations.

During the 2025-2027 board term, UN Women will adopt a new global strategy which will seek to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, of which gender equality is central.

Given Vietnam’s own track record and history, it will bring a wealth of insights pertinent to the promotion of 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. Vietnam can share its own journey and inspire other nations. These contributions are invaluable for informing innovative approaches and partnerships to advance gender equality and women's empowerment.