Stepping Forward: Men Commit to Gender Equality

Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Author: Thao Toang

Ha Noi – UN Women in collaboration with Viet Nam Communist Youth Union, National Volunteer Center (VVC) organized an event “Stepping Forward: Men commit to Gender Equality” in commemoration of Viet Nam Women’s Day 2015. The event bought together over 1,000 participants, including high-level male leaders from Ministry of Labour-Invalid and Social Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Party Committee on People’s Mobilization, other ministries, ambassadors, the UN in Viet Nam, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, the media and students who pledged to support effort toward substantive gender equality in Vietnam.

Commitment made to promote gender equality in Viet Nam Photo: UN Women/Duong Bao Long

The program highlighted the importance of gender equality for the sustainable development of all individuals in society and the participation of men and boys to eliminate discrimination against women and girls. This is an activity of HeForShe Campaign, a global solidarity movement for gender equality to engage government, enterprises, universities and ordinary citizens as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2015, on March 6th, Vietnam Central Youth Federation, Vietnam Volunteer Center in collaboration with UN Women launched HeForShe Campaign in Viet Nam. Since then, it has received vigorous support from leaders, ambassadors, public figures and reached more than 750.000 people in Vietnam.

In her opening remark, Ms. Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Representative in Vietnam said: "HeForShe invites all men and boys to stand up for the rights of women because gender equality is not just a women’s issue but it’s an issue that affects everyone. We are so delighted that the President Truong Tan Sang has named himself a HeForShe Champion. We are greatly encouraged by his strong statement at the United Nations last month pledging that the government of Viet Nam will devote all resources needed to bridge the gender gap in all domain.

Singer Hoang Bach composed and performed a song for HeForShe Viet Nam. Photo: UN Women/Duong Bao Long

Speaking at the program, Mr.Nguyen Phi Long, Secretary of the Central Committee of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, Chairman of the Vietnam Youth Federation stressed: "Equality for women and girls is not only a goal but also the responsibility of all of us. We need to take action to build a future where every youth, man, woman, girl and boy can fully develop and dedicate to social equality and sustainability".

Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, Deputy Chair of Party Committee on People’s Mobilization stressed that “Addressing the root causes of gender inequality requires a transformation of social norms and gender stereotypes in society, which cannot be achieved without the commitment of men and boys. Gender equality is matter for everybody and is essential to progress and prosperity. Gender equality does not only benefit women, but it benefits individual man, family, society and the nation as a whole.”

At the event, a number of Vietnamese youth shared ideas, practical initiatives to contribute to promoting equality and eliminating all discrimination against women and girls. UN Women and the Vietnam Volunteer Center also announced the results and awarded prizes of the HeForShe photo and video contest and announced the official song of HeForShe campaign in Vietnam “For your smiles” by singer and songwriter Hoang Bach, HeForShe Celebrity Champion.

Vietnamese youth shared ideas, practical initiatives to contribute to promoting equality and eliminating all discrimination against women and girls. Visit UN Women Flickr for more photos. Photo: UN Women/Duong Bao Long