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Australia & Ireland supporting rural women

Released at: 19:12, 06/03/2019

Australia & Ireland supporting rural women

The tea processing facility for female ethnic minority tea farmers in Muong Do introduced at the event. Photo: Embassy of Australia

Two embassies jointly launch a competition to identify tech solutions that benefit rural women in Vietnam.

by Le Diem

The Chargé d’Affaires of Australia to Vietnam, Ms. Rebecca Bryant, and Ambassador of Ireland to Vietnam, H.E. Cáit Moran, jointly hosted an event on March 6 to launch a national competition, “Technologies for Equality”, to promote the application of technologies to empower rural women’s lives to mark International Women’s Day 2019. Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui The Duy was a special guest at the event.

Inspired by the global theme for International Women’s Day 2019 of “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”, the competition aims to identify concepts and innovations that are beneficial for rural women. The competition is jointly funded by Australia and Ireland and managed by the Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship (WISE).

The national competition will sponsor high-impact technology-related initiatives for the empowerment of rural women, provide support for the technologies and their scale up, improve awareness in society about the need for the empowerment of rural women, and improve understanding of how technology can be used to reduce poverty and raise living standards in rural communities.

“On this day, when we remember and honor the courage of those women who have struggled for the rights of others, Australia believes it is important that rural women benefit from our empowerment efforts,” Ms. Bryant said. “We are looking forward to competition entries that bolster rural women’s lives.”

“Gender equality is at the heart of Ireland’s newly-launched policy for international development, A Better World,” said Ambassador Moran. “As part of Irish Aid’s support to rural ethnic minority women in Vietnam, Ireland is delighted to support this innovative competition, which will give Vietnamese women an opportunity to unleash their innate creativity.”

To be eligible, applicants must be a Vietnamese woman (individual, or a group led by a woman), residing in Vietnam, and have a technology-related solution that improves the lives or productivity of rural women. Solutions should be at least at the minimum viable product (MVP) stage and demonstrate that the benefit of the technology can last three to five years. Applications close on April 6 and the winners will be announced on April 21 - World Creativity and Innovation Day.

First prize is A$10,000 ($7,000), second prize A$5,000 ($3,500), and third prize A$3,000 ($2,100). Winners will also receive acceleration and incubation support from WISE.

The event also showcased technology that has already been supported by the two governments to improve the lives of rural women. The first was a mobile application called Safe Journey, a job matching and accommodation advice service for migrant women developed by Plan International Vietnam with the support of Australia. The second was a tea processing facility supported by the Center for Development and Integration with funding from the Embassy of Ireland, which helps female ethnic minority tea farmers in the Muong Do area of northern Son La province improve post-harvest processing and product quality to meet the Vietfarm standard and make branded and higher-value tea products.

“The event today was more meaningful with the launch of the ‘Technologies for Equality’ competition,” said Deputy Minister Duy. “It aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to ensure rural women and girls can fully participate and prosper in the workforce and the economy.”

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