International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

Speak Up for Gender Equality: Because Gender Equality is not an individual’s issue

“Speak up for gender equality" - a diverse and inclusive dialogue where each speaker brings a unique personal perspective on gender equality. In the fight for gender equality, each of us can contribute in our own way.

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018

Speak Up for Gender Equality | Viet Nam

Hanoi, Viet Nam — This morning in Hanoi, "Speak Up for Gender Equality” was organized by UN Women, the Embassies of Canada, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland, Vietnam Women's Museum, VVC - National Volunteer Center, Plan International Vietnam, TRAMOC at United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi).

All speakers and guests of Speak UP. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Minh Duc
All speakers and guests of Speak UP. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Minh Duc

The event began with “The journey for Gender Equality”. Four buses carrying the message of ending violence against women and girls departed from four universities and high schools in Hanoi (Hanoi University of Science and Technology, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Transportation and Bac Thang Long High School) with the participation of Ambassadors of Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland and Head of Office of UN Women Viet Nam, Country Director of Plan International, Vice President of Youth Union Federation, Mrs. World Wide Duong Thuy Linh and over 100 Hanoi students. On the bus journey, distinguished guests and students had the opportunity to exchange and discuss topics related to gender equality.

Speak Up event at UNIS. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Minh Duc
Speak Up event at UNIS. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Minh Duc

The “Speak Up for Gender Equality” event at UNIS offer 400 participants the opportunity to listen to 10 speakers in in the new Pecha-Kucha presentation format. In the spirit of "No Left Behind" of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, UN Women Viet Nam created an open forum on gender issues with representatives of youth, people with disabilities, celebrities, the LGBTIQ + community, the scientific community and people working in both formal and informal sectors.

Female ambassadors and leaders shared their experience of becoming female leaders. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Minh Duc
Female ambassadors and leaders shared their experience of becoming female leaders. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Minh Duc

Mrs. Worldwide 2018, Duong Thuy Linh shared: “We are all soldiers in this fight for gender equality, and this is a fight for all of us, women and men. No one deserves a life of prejudices. We all have equal rights to choose, which only happens in a society with gender equality.”

Besides stories from 10 speakers, the event also featured an open panel discussion between female leaders and the audience about their personal experiences in overcoming gender stereotypes to become leaders. The event also honored singer Hoang Bach for his efforts as Champion of HeForShe movement in Vietnam for the past three years.

Speakers receiving medals and flowers for their contribution. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Minh Duc
Speakers receiving medals and flowers for their contribution. Photo: UN Women/Nguyen Minh Duc

This event marks the start of the Global 16 days of Activism to end Violence against Women and Girls with the global advocacy theme: Orange the World: #HearMeToo (#LangNgheHanhDong).

“Our interest was to create a space for a genuine social dialogue that can trigger understanding and empathy about individuals’ lives and their experiences around gender inequality and discrimination, but also around empowerment, agency and transformation. An event about celebrating our diversity, and our unique experiences of gender, while identifying our commonalities.” – shared Ms. Elisa Fernandez, Head of Office – UN Women in Vietnam in her opening speech.

Following the campaign launch, a series of events in support of the National Action Month to take action against Gender-based violence and the Global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence will take place across the country to amplify voices of government agencies, international organizations, civil society and survivors in the fight to end all forms of gender-based violence.

Media contact:

Doan Thanh Ha
Communications Consultant – UN Women Viet Nam | Email: doan.ha@unwomen.org

Note to editors:

Lists of speakers and distinguished guests:

  1. Hoang Bach – singer, HeForShe Champion in Vietnam
  2. Duong Thuy Linh – Mrs. Worldwide 2018
  3. Mia Nguyễn – Psychology Consultant at Ladies of Viet Nam and teaching Psychology courses at Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities
  4. Vũ Minh Lý - former Director of Viet Nam Volunteer Center (VVC), Operations Deputy Manager of Central Farmers Association, currently is Deputy Director of Media Center of the Minitry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)
  5. Vũ Thị Quyên - Co-founder and Head of Customer Service of We-Edit company
  6. Đỗ Hoàng Thái Anh - Chairman of Hanoi Association of the Deaf and the Founder of SC Deaf
  7. Chu Thanh Hà - LGBTIA+ rights activist, and currently the founder of It’s T Time
  8. Thùy Nguyễn – Doctor in Forest Ecology, Vietnamese Academy of Forest Science
  9. Trần Trọng Phước - Vice Chairmanship of the Association of Farmers and the Men’s Club for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Da Nang
  10. Lê Ngọc Lan - 18-year-old high school student and an active member of the Champions for Change (COC) for Gender Equality and Girls’ Rights of Dong Anh district
  11. Phạm Thùy Dương – senior student of the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) majoring in Automatic Control

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year. It commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and continues until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was founded by activists at the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and is coordinated each year by the Center for Women's Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE) calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share of knowledge and innovations. In recent years, the UNiTE campaign has utilized the colour orange to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls, as a unifying theme running through its global activities.