The event was jointly held by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and the Australian Embassy in Vietnam.
The panels also talked about effective strategies and interventions, and put forth policy recommendations for the revision of the Labour Code and build an equal working environment for both men and women.
Opening the workshop, deputy head of the National Assembly’s Committee for Social Affairs Le Thi Nguyet said it is necessary to shift the approach to building regulations in the revised Labour Code from protecting female workers to promoting gender equality.
Specific provisions on female workers in the current Labour Code should focus on measures to promote gender equality and maternity protection for both male and female workers, she added.
Chief Representative of the UN Women in Vietnam Elisa Fernandez said the amendment to the Labour Code provides an opportunity for Vietnam to address recommendations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) including the application of the same compulsory retirement age to men and women and the reduction of prohibited occupations for women.
Promoting gender equality in employment is not only the matter of rights but also contributes significantly to the country’s sustainable economic growth, she suggested.
The revision of the Labour Code will create numerous opportunities for Vietnam to implement its commitments to promote gender equality and resolve relevant issues, especially when the country is engaging in international treaties on human rights and labour.
In a gender impact assessment report conducted in late 2017, the UN Women, the Australian Embassy in Vietnam and the Investing in Women put forth recommendations to ensure and promote gender equality without discriminating occupational opportunities, skills and capacity development for men and women.
The report proposed some major changes to the draft revised Labour Code such as narrowing and eliminating the retirement age gap between male and female workers, strengthening regulations on addressing sexual harassment at workplaces, and providing measures to protect the reproductive function of all sexes instead of only focusing on female workers.