The progress of women’s empowerment and realization of gender equality through the lens of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) over the past 10 years in Vietnam was reviewed on April 19 at a national forum held by Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
On 18 December 1979, CEDAW was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It entered into force as an international treaty on 3 September 1981 after the twentieth country had ratified it. Among the international human rights treaties, the Convention takes an important place in bringing the female half of humanity into the focus of human rights concerns.
The Convention establishes not only an international bill of rights for women, but also an agenda for action by countries to guarantee the enjoyment of those rights. Vietnam was the 6th country in the world that joined CEDAW and has made significant efforts to implement its commitments to promote gender equality.
In order to promote gender equality to uphold CEDAW’s principles as a State member, since 2004, UN Women with financial support of Canada Government, in collaboration with national partners, have implemented the project “Regional programme on improving human Women’s Human Rights in Southeast Asia” (CEDAW SEAP).
The program supported more than 2000 delegates from the government, parliamentarians, and leaders of ministries, policy makers, gender experts and civil society organizations to enhance their knowledge and understanding on gender and women’s rights, so that laws and policies and their implementation are gender responsive, and women know and are able to claim their rights.
Opening the event, MOLISA Vice Minister Nguyen Trong Dam said,“Vietnam always commits to promote gender equality and women’s human rights. This can be seen in revising laws and policies by internalizing CEDAW principles in the legislation and enforcement mechanisms”.
“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN Member States last September provides us with an unprecedented opportunity for advancing gender equality, with the strong stand-alone Goal 5 and gender equality being mainstreamed throughout the other SDGs.
Never before have we seen such strong global consensus at the highest level that gender equality is both an enabler and a precondition for sustainable development”, UN Women Country Representative Shoko Ishikawa said at the dialogue.
Participants agreed that it is essential to give women a voice, channel collective action and advocacy, and demand gender-responsive action. The government and different stakeholders remain committed to working together to make gender equality a reality.