The Sustainable Development Goals in Viet Nam
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth's environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Viet Nam.
07 September 2022
Building a campus without violence in Viet Nam
Ha Noi - More than half of female students at three leading Vietnamese universities, and almost a third of lecturers, has experienced at least one form of sexual harassment in and around campus over the past academic year, most commonly verbal sexual harassment. The figures of 51.8 percent and 30.2 percent, respectively, were findings from a campus climate survey conducted in February with support from UN Women in Viet Nam, and released in June this year. The responses from 1,809 students and 350 staff and lecturers in universities in Ha Noi, Thai Nguyen and Thanh Hoa province, demonstrate the extent and impacts of sexual harassment in the higher education sector. UN Women funded the survey under the Safe Campus initiative, a regional project to eliminate violence against women. “I’ve received many comments on my appearance and in many cases, I feel uncomfortable and anxious. Before I didn’t know that’s a form of sexual harassment.” said My Duyen, 19, a female student at Hong Duc University. Though stressing that the university is very safe, My Duyen still wishes the university could invest more in security cameras and lighting systems. “If I must go to the library in the evening, I will go with a group of friends,” she said. With a campus of 480,000 square metres and 10,000 students, Hong Duc is one of the largest universities in Thanh Hoa, a province in the Northern Central Region of Viet Nam. It has few cameras and only one psychological counselling room, with four lecturers responsible for the counselling service. The survey in February also explored students’ attitudes and knowledge about sexual harassment, reporting processes and how to seek help, establishing a benchmark against which universities can measure their progress in the future. According to the survey results, 72.2 percent of respondents did not know about safe shelters and hotlines in the country, and 51.2 percent of them did not know about psychological counselling rooms in their universities. To raise awareness of students about gender-based violence, the three universities, with support from UN Women, implemented a series of communications activities called Orange Your Campus, Confession Box and You Are Not Alone in December 2021 and early 2022. The activities aimed to provide knowledge on gender-based violence and information on available services for survivors. The campaigns received huge attention from students and lecturers on social media with an estimated 2 million views and shares within only three months. UN Women also supported the three universities' upgrade of the psychological services facilities to better support student survivors of gender-based violence. The Confession Box activities received more than 215 letters from students in Hong Duc University sharing their experiences and stories about gender-based violence. “I was very surprised by the big number of letters which were sent to our counselling room in December 2021, said Hoai Thu, 42, a psychological lecturer at Hong Duc University. “Through the Orange The Campus communications activities, I believe students have learned more about gender-based violence. Some of them become more open to share their stories and seek help.” Le Thi Hang, Deputy Director of the Department of Political Work, Students, Ministry of Education and Training, highly appreciated the support of UN Women through the project to spread the message of gender equality, ending all forms of violence against female students and staff in universities. “The data obtained from this project will be a valuable basis for educational administrators, policymakers, the Ministry of Education and Training and other agencies to issue regulations and policies, and to develop practical and effective tooks to ensure a safe and non-violent school environment for students,” she said. To continue with the achievements of the safe campus initiative, UN Women Viet Nam will expand its supports to Ministry of Education and Training and more universities in Viet Nam through its ending violence against women and girls programme to ensure campus safe for all students and staff.
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18 August 2022
A thought-provoking field visit to communities affected by climate change in Central Viet Nam
This year, the staff retreat of UN Women Viet Nam included a visit to communities affected by climate change. The aim of this important visit was to sensitize the whole team about the realities and needs of the women and girls that we serve, and reflect together about how UN Women Viet Nam can best support them through our triple mandate. The team went to visit a costal commune in Huong Tra district, Thua Thien Hue province, which is frequently hit by sea-level rise and flooding. Currently, due to COVID-19, many women are unemployed and doing agricultural work is their main source of livelihood. “Because of gender inequality, women and girls are more at risk,” said Tran Thi Thuy Anh, UN Women programme analyst on gender and disaster risk reduction in a briefing session for all country office staff before the field visit. “They are under-represented in disaster risk reduction [DRR] strategies and lack access to DRR training and knowledge. They tend to be perceived as victims of climate change instead of agents of change for their own futures.” In Viet Nam, natural disasters are currently threatening the livelihoods and food security of millions of people. The country was ranked 16th most affected by climate change-related disasters between 1999 and 2018, according to the global Climate Risk Index 2020 for the countries. Viet Nam’s coastal, mountainous, and delta regions make the country especially vulnerable. Sea level rise, flooding, drought, and landslides are causing increasing damage each year. As stated in the Strategic Note 2022-2026, UN Women Viet Nam will work towards the empowerment of women and girls, with a focus on promoting women’s leadership and resilience in high-risk areas. Moreover, in the next five years, the office will continue supporting national partners to mainstream gender in policies on climate change adaptation as well as in all aspects of DRR planning, implementation and monitoring. Making a visit to climate change affected communities was an essential part of the UN Women Viet Nam staff retreat this year. “Getting to know the real people affected by disasters increases our awareness and commitment to make a difference and become more effective in our work promoting gender-responsive climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Viet Nam in the next five years”, said Elisa Fernandez Saenz, UN Women Representative in Viet Nam. “Tropical storms are more destructive, frequent, and unpredictable in recent years. Last year, the storm destroyed my fish farm and due to COVID-19 social distancing and lockdown, I could not sell the remained fish, but we still had to repay the loan,” said Bang, a 55-year-old resident in Huong Tra district, Thua Thien Hue province. Bang and her husband used to have a high income in the commune from raising fish, she told the UN Women team. But she has lost 10 kilos since last year because of stress caused by an outstanding loan of more than 1 billion VND (USD 50,000). The storm and flood last year killed most of the fish and damaged the farms severely. Bang invested more to restore the fish farms but she could not sell the fish due to the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing. Her family have learnt a significant lesson, which is that it is essential to use weather forecast information for decision making in her business. “Now, when I know a storm is coming, I inform the rest of the village, so we sell our fish before the storm hits. We help each other to reinforce our houses and fish farms to reduce the loss,” said Bang. As the impacts of climate change and disasters intensify, it is vital that people in vulnerable rural communities are included in the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction activities. This is particularly the case for rural women, most of whom are engaged in smallholder farming and lack access to information, resources, and extension services, especially women from poor and ethnic minority households. “Through this field visit, I understand that rural women are truly experts in the field with their rich experience and aspirations,” Pham Thi Minh, a finance associate with UN Women Viet Nam, reflected about the visit. “Their voices should be heard so that when disasters occur, resilient communities are able to mitigate the effects and recover more quickly and sustainably,” said Duong Bao Long, the driver cum admin clerk of UN Women Viet Nam.
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18 August 2022
Successful first pilot export of mango to Australia using SOPs: Confidently sailing the sea
Exporting fresh fruits from Viet Nam to high-value markets is the target for many exporters to increase the economic value of these products. In Australia, the demand for a mango when its mango season has far passed offers many exporting opportunities for countries with counter-seasonal production to this country. Exporting mangoes from Vietnam, however; has been either expensive when using air shipment or having preservation issues to stand the long duration of sea freight. Fresh mangoes used to be preserved for up to only 30 days with traditional preservation methods. A recent successful pilot demonstration supported by the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) Vietnam using Standard Operating Procedures - SOPs combined with hot water and post-harvest fungicide treatment has opened up new opportunities for mango producers and exporters in Vietnam. The preservation duration has increased from 30 days to a maximum of 40 days, allowing enough time for sea freight and distribution of the fruits through wholesale markets and retail stores. For this consignment from Vina T&T Company, all of the fruit was decapped using the SOP methods. Hot water and post-harvest fungicide treatment were used by the exporter under the technical advice of UNIDO, following SOP’s cooling practice. Despite the delay in the arrival, there were no rots recorded on any of the audited fruits. The color and texture of the fruits were also preserved. Additionally, the mangoes had the incidence of sap burn at 3.3%, which is way below the common level of 30% of traditional practice export consignments. “The consignment was successful with no disease coming across. This is a wonderful result. Although it had a chilling issue, we will be able to solve this in upcoming shipments by looking back at the system. Colleagues from the importing company in Australia are happy with it.” – said Peter Johnson, the UNIDO value chain technical expert working with Vina T&T for the demonstration. GQSP Vietnam, funded by Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), in collaboration with the Sub-Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-harvest Technology (SIAEP) of Vietnam, has developed six SOPs based on good practices, addressing key areas and impediments within the existing mango export chains. With international and Vietnamese experts working closely with mango value chain actors, the SOPs development process also contributes to capacity building for the local institutions and agencies. In the upcoming time, the project will continue to replicate the success of this demonstration to other mango exporters, developing technical and business skills needed for SMEs to meet the higher compliance requirements of high-value markets like Australia.
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16 August 2022
UN Women co-hosts hybrid Forum on developing Viet Nam’s plan on women and peacebuilding
Hanoi, Viet Nam – The Viet Nam Women’s Union discussed with Government, social organizations and international agencies today how it can help develop a national plan to achieve the United Nations goal of strengthening the role of women and women’s organizations and concerned stakeholders in promoting Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. The Government has actively supported the 2000 United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. However, further attention is needed to mechanisms to implement the WPS Agenda, including the establishment of a National Action Plan on WPS as many other countries in Asia and elsewhere have done. To promote the understanding of and implementation of the WPS Agenda in Vietnam, UN Women and the Viet Nam Women’s Union, a socio-political organization, organized today’s Forum in Hanoi. The more than 200 participants also included representatives of Vietnamese businesses and social organizations as well as United Nations agencies, international organizations, and embassies. The Forum discussed how the country can promote women’s involvement in United Nations peacekeeping operations, stemming domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, and other fields. It highlighted the key ways in which the Viet Nam Women’s Union can help develop any national action plan and get the general public involved in the process. Representatives from the Philippines and the European Union detailed how those countries developed and implemented such plans. “By having the forums like this one today, I believe that the progress to discuss the development of a NAP (national action plan) for Viet Nam shall proceed more comprehensively and inclusively. I recognize that the Viet Nam Women's Union is already ahead in defining its concrete roles to ensure that the NAP, if it is to be developed soon, is participatory, transparent, and accountable,” said Pauline Tamesis, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam. According to the Vietnam Women's Union, women are often among the most vulnerable in unstable environments and crisis situations. They, however, are also active agents for crisis prevention and management, and peace-making. The WPS Agenda becomes even more important and urgent currently. Also, the role of women's organizations like the Vietnam Women's Union is ever emphasized in the peace and security process in each country and on a global scale. This forum is even more meaningful in the context that the world is facing major security challenges, especially non-traditional security -- epidemics, natural disasters caused by climate change, cybercrime, etc. -- threatening to push back the sustainability of achieved development. Viet Nam presented UN Security Council Resolution 1889, adopted by the Security Council in October 2009 to strengthen the implementation and monitoring of Resolution 1325. And in December 2020, Viet Nam hosted an international conference on Strengthening Women’s Role in Building and Sustaining Peace: From Commitments to Results; that conference produced the Hanoi Commitment to Action. UN Women supported today’s conference as part of its project, Empowering Women for Sustainable Peace: Preventing Violence and Promoting Social Cohesion in ASEAN, which is funded by the Governments of Canada, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Viet Nam is a member.
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11 August 2022
Vietnamese Youth Organize Creative Projects to Advocate for a Safe and Equal Cyberspace
Ha Noi, Viet Nam — UN Women, in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Development Studies and CED Link, supported the efforts of 71 youth leaders, content creators and change-makers across Viet Nam to develop innovative social media projects aimed at strengthening positive digital engagement and at combating cyber harms. Within three months, the projects achieved incredible results, receiving a collective 4.9 million views, 19,100 comments and 4,382 shares across all major social media platforms commonly used in Viet Nam. In October 2021, 22-year-old content creator Ly Tu Nha and other youth leaders participated in a virtual training organized by UN Women, the Center for Sustainable Development Studies and CED Link in Viet Nam with support from the Government of the Republic of Korea. The training deepened young participants’ knowledge and understanding of gender equality, cybersecurity, and Viet Nam’s current social media environment. The training also increased the participants’ skills in mobilizing social media’s potential to engage other youth and Internet users in countering cyberharms while promoting gender equality. After the one-week training, Nha and her friends developed a social media project to combat online sexual violence and cyberbullying targeting adolescents, receiving technical support from UN Women. In November 2021 alone, their project “HOPE” had reached more than 300,000 people through the dissemination of videos, digital posters, factsheets and other media. Online violence against women and girls tends to be motivated by misogynistic and hateful sentiments. According to research conducted by the Vietnam Program for Internet & Society, 78 per cent of the 1,000 persons that were interviewed for their study reported that they have experienced or are aware of the situation of hate-speech across social networks in Viet Nam. This is argued to be a potential long-term issue for Internet users, particularly women and girls, which has the potential to polarize and diminish social cohesion across societies. “I was a victim of online sexual harassment and body shaming several years ago. Therefore, I understand how it damages the survivors. Even if it's just words, it lasts forever,” said Nha in an interview with UN Women Viet Nam Country Office in December 2021. Viet Nam has one of the highest rates of Internet use in the Asia and the Pacific region. As of January 2021, the number of internet users reached 69 million people, which represents close to 72 percent of Viet Nam’s population. With pandemic-related social distancing measures in place, people are staying home and spending more time on the Internet than ever before, making safety and security in cyberspace an urgent issue. Considering the rapid digitization of Southeast Asia, digital platforms are increasingly becoming new frontiers of conflict in the region. “The spread of disinformation and hate speech against women and minority groups disrupt the social fabric of societies. We have also seen that there are many opportunities to counter violent practices and to promote civic engagement through positive digital engagement,” said Gaelle Demolis, Acting UN Women Representative in Viet Nam at the time of the interview. For persons with disabilities (PWD), the Internet and digital platforms are important tools for learning, research and self-development opportunities. These tools are valuable information resources and can contribute to bridging access gaps. However, they also carry risks for PWD, including disability hate speech, sexual violence and other cyberattacks and cyber-enabled crimes to which they are disproportionately exposed. Nguyen Manh Cuong, a 27-year-old businessman and chairperson of the Deaf People Club in Dak Lak, also participated in the training. Together with six other PWDs who joined the training in October 2021, Cuong led a campaign called “Speaking hands,” which included a series of video clips on Facebook. The campaign aimed to combat hate speech against PWDs and to guide his peers to protect themselves on digital platforms. “The training is super helpful. I will keep sharing the learned knowledge and skills with my friends in the club so that we can protect ourselves and be safer online. Deaf children will find it especially helpful to learn to avoid threats and the psychological shocks that I faced as a child,” said Cuong. About UN Women and Cybersecurity Since 2021, UN Women has been pioneering a new project on Women, Peace and Cybersecurity with the ambition to gain new insights on novel security threats that are promulgated through digital platforms and online engagement. There is a need to understand how digital platforms are increasingly used to drive conflict and incite violence, and to strengthen the capacities of women, men, girls, and boys to promote peace and positive and inclusive digital engagement. This training in Viet Nam is one of the first initiatives to strengthen the capacities of youth in Southeast Asia on gender-responsive cybersecurity. Similar activities have also been carried out in the Philippines.  HATE SPEECH AND SOLUTIONS TOWARDS A SAFE AND SUSTAINABLE SOCIAL NETWORK ENVIRONMENT  Internet usage in Vietnam - statistics & facts  Violent Conflict, Tech Companies, and Social Media in Southeast Asia
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