Roughly 150 delegates from state management agencies, research units, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on March 31 attended a dialogue in Hanoi aimed at strengthening the involvement of women and girls in the social welfare system.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs emphasized that the development of the social welfare system is one of top priorities in Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategy.
The Vietnamese Party and State have always paid special attention to promoting gender equality and have implemented several important policies to create amore favourable framework and environment conducive to the attainment of gender equality in general and much improved social welfare in particular.
Minister Chuyen dilated on the challenges faced by women and girls resulting from issues related to the recent economic downturn, impact of climate change, and inefficiency in integrating gender in social welfare policies.
At the talk, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said that social welfare is seen as a foundation for gender equality and empowerment of women.
However, she noted that an estimated 5.1 billion people (some 75% of the world’s population) have not yet fully enjoyed the benefits of accessing social welfare.
She emphasized the importance of social welfare to each nation’s development, especially in the fight against poverty. Social welfare plays a key role for governments in implementing the eight millennium development goals (MDGs), she concluded.
The UN official said that the Vietnamese Government has affirmed the need of social welfare since 2001 and the adoption of government’s resolution in 2012 has reflected the country’s strong political commitments in socio-economic development.
Mlambo-Ngcuka said her organization has co-ordinated with the Vietnamese Government in implementing several programs to promote gender equality and raise public awareness about ensuring Vietnamese women’s rights.
It has also committed to further supporting the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in strengthening social welfare and justice in the future.