Press Release

RESPECT WOMEN: Prevention of violence against women in alignment with international standards

31 May 2022

Hanoi, 11-13 May 2022 - For the first time, RESPECT WOMEN – The UN Prevention of Violence Against Women Framework (VAW) has been introduced and intensively trained in Viet Nam to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders and foster the formulation of effective strategies on VAWG prevention in the future. 

International Experts and Participants of the RESPECT Training course

The National Study on Violence against Women in Viet Nam in 2019 shows that nearly 2 in every 3 women (nearly 63%) have experienced one or more forms of physical, sexual, emotional and economic violence as well as controlling behavior by a husband/partner in their life. More than 90% of women who experienced sexual and/or physical violence by their husband/partner did not seek any help from formal services or authorities.

Ms. Melissa Alvarado & Ms. Lyndsay McLean, International Experts delivering sessions during the course

The Capacity building training course on prevention of violence against women in line with the UN Prevention of Violence Against Women Framework (RESPECT Framework) was held for three days in Ha Noi by various UN agencies including UN Women, WHO, UNFPA and the UN Gender Theme Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

RESPECT WOMEN is the acronym for the theoretical and practical framework developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), in association with 10 UN agencies in 2019 in alignment with the principles of respect and equality as well as evidence-based lessons taken from effective interventions to prevent violence against women globally. UN Women and WHO subsequently formulated the RESPECT Framework Implementation Guidance Package to assist countries, civil society organizations (CSOs) and UN agencies in putting the Framework into practice.

Opening remarks delivered by Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, Acting United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) & H.E. Nguyen Thi Ha, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs

Delivering her remarks at the opening of the training course, H.E. Nguyen Thi Ha, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs stated that: “Despite numerous efforts in adopting solutions, the situation of gender-based violence globally as well as in Viet Nam has been quite persistent. In an attempt to reduce and towards the elimination of gender-based violence, especially violence against women and girls, greater efforts are required, in which community-based approach as well as intersectoral and multi-agency participation and coordination plays a very substantial role. We also need to reinforce the initiatives that address potential risk factors of violence, including social norms on gender roles and tolerance, acceptance, and “normalization” of violence as perceived by survivors as well as the community. Perpetrators need to be strictly punished whilst survivors of violence need to be protected and their life must be stabilized. To that end, we need to do better prevention work to minimize the negative consequences of violence coupled with the vulnerability of each individual and the society.”

In her remarks at the training course, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, Acting United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) highlighted: “Because so many women and girls are not reached through services alone, it is urgent that we advance work on preventing violence before it occurs. Prevention—addressing the structural causes, as well as the risk and protective factors, associated with violence—is pivotal to eliminating violence against women and girls completely. Prevention requires political commitment, implementing laws that promote gender equality, investing in women’s organizations, and addressing the multiple forms of discrimination women face daily”.

Discussion during the course

Through this training course, capacities of more than 50 participants from ministries, sectors, central and local agencies as well as CSOs actively working in gender-based violation prevention and response have been enhanced in the prevention of gender-based violence in Viet Nam in a comprehensive approach represented by the 7 strategies under the RESPECT Framework including:

  • R on strengthening relationship skills;
  • E on empowering women and girls;
  • S on Services ensured ;
  • P on Poverty reduced;
  • E on creation safe and enabling environments;
  • C on Child and adolescent abuse behaviours prevention;
  • T on Transformed attitudes, beliefs and norms

During the training course, participants and international experts jointly provided in-depth analyses on each strategy under the RESPECT Framework, shared practical experience across the world and in Viet Nam with a view to formulating effective strategies on prevention of violation against women in the future./.

hoang bich thao

Hoang Bich Thao

UN Women
Communications Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
WHO
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative