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Vietnam Today

Australia deepens engagement with Vietnam on gender equality

Released at: 14:30, 13/06/2019

Australia deepens engagement with Vietnam on gender equality

Ms. Payne (L) and Mr. Minh at the MOU signing (Photo source: Embassy of Australia)

Australia increases support to Vietnam in gender equality programs.

by Le Diem

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on empowering women in diplomacy, during her visit to Vietnam on June 12 and 13.

Australian and Vietnamese leaders, policy makers, and diplomats will come together at an annual forum to exchange approaches and experiences in promoting women’s leadership in international diplomacy. The two countries aim to promote understanding of gender equality among male and female officers serving in Vietnam’s foreign service, and to strengthen the skills and capabilities of Vietnam’s women diplomats.

Ms. Payne also announced new initiatives to advance gender equality in Vietnam.

The Australian Government will provide A$660,000 ($460,000) to UN Women to support the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in the development of Vietnam’s next ten-year National Strategy for Gender Equality 2021-2030. The strategy will set targets for Vietnam’s progress on gender equality in the coming decade, aligned with anticipated economic and social trends.

Australia’s Investing in Women program will also be extended for a second four-year phase, with Australia committing over A$58 million ($40 million) to the program across four target countries - Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Investing in Women aims to improve women’s economic participation as employees and as entrepreneurs. In Vietnam, the new funding will support more businesses to improve their workplace gender equality policies and practices, increase impact investment in women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and support local organizations to influence attitudes regarding workplace gender equality.

Forty new partnerships with the private sector, civil society, and the government will improve economic opportunities for rural and ethnic minority women in northwest Vietnam. The partnerships, with total Australian funding of A$10.4 million ($7.2 million), will be delivered through Australia’s Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) program.

Ms. Payne said Australia is expanding its engagement with Vietnam regarding women’s empowerment and gender equality because women are critical to Vietnam’s continued success and economic growth. “The empowerment of women and girls is a priority for Australia’s development assistance and a key focus of its economic partnership with Vietnam,” she said. “Australia’s support for gender equality in Vietnam includes investments that target women’s leadership and skills development, promoting women’s economic participation, and ending violence against women.”

Speaking about the signing of the MoU, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Craig Chittick, remarked: “We are honored that Minister Payne has been able to formalize this important partnership with Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on women’s leadership. The endorsement by Australia’s second consecutive female Minister for Foreign Affairs - who also happens to be the Minister for Women - augurs well for the initiative.”

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