TOWARDS GENDER EQUALITY THROUGH GENDER-RESPONSIVE NATIONAL POLICY AND PLANNING
On behalf of the National Committee for the Advancement of Women I am extremely pleased to release this guide to Gender Mainstreaming in Viet Nam. This guide represents an important shift in our approach to achieving gender equality, economic development and poverty reduction. There is no doubt that we have made great achievements in this area already. However, there is always room for improvement. Until recently we have tended to focus mainly only on women’s and girl’s needs. We now recognise that gender equality benefits everyone and cannot be achieved unless it involves everyone – women, men, girls and boys. Gender mainstreaming is currently considered the most effective approach towards achieving gender equality. It is an approach to the way we think, work and relate that makes women's and men's concerns, experiences and priorities an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, projects and programs in all sectors, and at all levels of society.
Mme Ha Thi Khiet
The United Nations Development Program in Viet Nam is proud to be associated with the production of these innovative guidelines through our support to the NCFAW-UNDP-Netherlands Project VIE 01-015-01 Gender in Public Policy. During the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders from Viet Nam and 188 other nations committed to “promote gender equality and empower women”, as one of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Achieving the MDG will require that we create an environment where efforts towards gender equality is no longer a daily struggle pursued by a select few, but a natural and automatic part of everyone’s daily work. Gender mainstreaming means considering and addressing the needs and priorities of both women and men as a part of our everyday life. But “mainstreaming” gender requires hard work. For it is about change: changing how we think, relate, work, and how we view and treat men and women and girls and boys. At times the commitment to equality even comes into conflict with cultural tradition. It is then that we need the courage to change culture. UNDP hopes that this guide to Gender Mainstreaming in Viet Nam will advance the move to gender equality. For gender equality will enrich the lives of all people of Viet Nam.
UNDP Resident Representative
Throughout the world, women experience disadvantages. There are differences from country to country and region to region, because disadvantage is caused by cultural, historical and social factors. Commitments and agreements have been made – by, for instance, the UN member states - on improving the position of women as well as on the efforts governments and non-governmental, private and multilateral organisations must make towards this goal. Gender mainstreaming means no longer simply assuming that a proposed policy or program will automatically benefit women. Women’s and men’s poverty is often caused by different factors, they have different life experiences, needs and interests, and development interventions impact on them in different ways. Gender mainstreaming is a way of ensuring that policy and decision-making take account of men’s and women’s different interests and needs. The aim is for policy to make a genuinely sustainable contribution to equality between men and women, rather than unintentionally increasing inequality in some unforeseen way. This is neither simple nor straightforward. The Netherlands Embassy is very pleased to have been able to support this innovative National Gender Mainstreaming Publication that we expect will be useful for the Government and people of Viet Nam on their long way to achieving sustainable development where women and men, boys and girls, can share equally...