White ribbon breakfast in Can Tho – Joining hands to empower women economically and promoting laws to prevent unsafe migration/human trafficking

On the morning of 23 October 2023, the "White Ribbon Breakfast" event was held in Can Tho with the participation of nearly 100 delegates from departments and agencies; from organisations and unions of Can Tho City.

Many representatives came from vocational training and employment support centers; from colleges and universities in the city; also the Center for Women's Development in the Mekong Delta discussed and shared initiatives and experiences, thereby offering solutions to increase economic empowerment for trafficked/repatriated women.

The "White Ribbon Breakfast" event is a communication activity that has been carried out by the Center for Women and Development since 2015 and maintained until now. In 2023, the "White Ribbon Breakfast" was held in Quang Binh in September and continued in Can Tho in October. This is an activity within the framework of Project 8 "Implementing gender equality and solving urgent issues for women and children" under the National Target Program for the period 2021 – 2023, organized by the Center for Women and Development in coordination with the Women's Union of Can Tho city.

The White Ribbon Breakfast event of 2023 aims at three key goals: (1) Raising awareness about promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women and children, while focusing on the topic of strengthening economic empowerment for returned trafficked/migrant women; (2) Promoting the roles and responsibilities and increase the participation of organizations and individuals, especially numbers of leaders and male pioneers, in promoting gender equality and enhancing economic empowerment for women (especially vulnerable women); (3) Establish/strengthen cooperation with relevant parties and mobilise more resources to support unsafe/trafficked migrant women returning to their communities.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Ms. Nguyen Thuy Hien, Deputy Director of the Center for Women and Development mentioned current migration-related issues, especially for female workers, who still are the most vulnerable group. In addition, she affirmed that women's economic empowerment helps them to escape poverty, create opportunities and gain a new access, just as to meet basic human needs such as health care, education, and education. They need to relearn to live freely: to eat, dress, live and have the opportunity to be economically independent at the same level as men. Achieving economic empowerment that contributes to improving women's position in the family, society and the workplace requires the cooperation and participation of all sectors, levels and the whole of society. She emphasised that with the things that will be shared and encouraged at today's White Ribbon Breakfast media event, each delegate will be re-energised and re-energised to act to promote gender equality and economic empowerment to ensure women's rights and for the prosperity and sustainable development of the locality and the country.

The event implemented a series of activities including a discussion on "Increasing women's economic empowerment to promote rights and prevent unsafe migration/human trafficking" with the participation of 04 speakers from the Women's Union Can Tho city; coming from the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Can Tho city; furthermore a representative of Can Tho University and adding to this representatives of the Center for Women's Development in the Mekong Delta., Ms. H (character's name has been changed) in particular is a temporary resident of Peace House and has just returned home, directly sharing about the process of NNBY accompanying her to overcome the difficulties of being dehumanized:  bought, sold and returned.

Also at the event, Miss Ocean Vietnam 2023 - Tran Thi Thu Uyen appeared as a program ambassador. She wanted to convey positive messages about enhancing economic empowerment for women. Trafficked/migrant women that returned home need to be supported to overcome barriers, have closer access to support services and job opportunities, and thereby succeeding in becoming economically independent and self-reliant in life again.

The "Peaceful Journey" exhibition is on display at the conference venue. It is designed to give delegates a better understanding of the activities and results that Peace House has achieved in its 16-year journey. This result has also contributed a lot in confirming the position and value of the activities of the Centre for Women and Development over the past 20 years.

At the end of the event, the messages, advice, and determination of the participants were attached to the "Commitment Tree" with the message TODAY WE ACT, TOMORROW NO ONE WILL BE LEFT BEHIND. This is also an action affirming the delegates' commitment to promoting gender equality, increasing economic empowerment, ensuring women's rights and for the prosperity and sustainable development of the locality and country.

The activity was recognized by participating delegates as a new and effective communication model, an open forum for delegates to discuss and contribute ideas, especially attracting the participation of many male delegates, male leaders and pioneers.