Press Release

UN Women and the Japanese Government launched project on Gender-Responsive COVID-19 Prevention and Response

02 August 2022

Caption: Participants of the Gender-responsive COVID-19 prevention and response project launching event. Photo: UN Women/Huong Luu

Ha Noi, 02 August 2022 – Today, the Embassy of Japan and UN Women Viet Nam announced a one-year project to reduce the risks and negative impacts of COVID-19 on women and girls.

The project aims to support about 5,000 poor and vulnerable women in 9 provinces and cities including Ha Noi, Da Nang, Dien Bien, Ha Tinh, Ho Chi Minh City, Tien Giang, Nghe An, Thai Binh and Lao Cai. The priority target are migrant workers, ethnic minorities, people working in the informal sector and those living in disaster-prone areas. Apart from receiving the COVD-19 prevention kits, which include test kits, medical masks and antibacteria gel; the beneficiaries will also be equipped with the necessary skills to prevent and respond to COVID-19, disasters, gender-based violence and information about the available support services. Women survivors of gender-based violence at shelters and the Peace House will be supported in COVID-19 medical examinations and treatment.

The project is a part of a nearly 20-billion-VND regional project implemented in 4 Me-Kong countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam by UN Women Asia-Pacific, with the financial support from the Japanese Government. 

With the Japanese Government’s priority concern for people living in the Mejong sub-region in Viet Nam, interventions are also designed to improve the quality of gender-responsive services and the capacity of staff working at Migrant Resource Centres, Viet Nam Women’s Union at all levels, social organizations in the nince provinces mentioned above.

Caption: Ms. Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women Viet Nam. Photo: UN Women/Huong Luu

“Emerging evidence over the past year confirmed that the pandemic had a regressive effect on gender equality. In addition, Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world, with 75 per cent of disaster-affected populations living in the region. As countries cope with impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, they also grapple with the reality of exposure to multiple, severe natural hazards, and potential of a double disaster.”, said Ms. Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women Viet Nam. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, in Viet Nam many women have suffered from loss of employment, reduced household income, inadequate housing, lack of life-saving support and services, limited social protection measures, as well as increased stress at home, along with unacceptable high levels of intimate partner violence.”

Due to COVID-19, women’s labor force participation rate fell 8 points between 2019 and 2021, from 70.9% to 62.3%. COVID-19 contributed to a reduction in working hours for women, and the loss of jobs across manufacturing and services. A rapid assessment conducted by UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women with the support of DFAT in 2021 found that women and children in particular were at greater risk during the period of social isolation. The study found that in Viet Nam more than one in three women experienced at least one form of violence during the pandemic period, with more women reporting experiencing controlling behaviors and economic violence.

Caption: Mr. Sasaki Shohei, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Viet Nam. Photo: UN Women/Huong Luu

“We are very pleased that UN Women will take the lead in implementing Gender-responsive COVID-19 response and prevention project. We hope that this project presents an opportunity for restructuring and creating a ‘new normal’ in which no one is left behind.”, said Mr. Sasaki Shohei, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Viet Nam.

As the representative of the project’s local partners, Ms. Hoang Thi Thu Huong, Chairwoman of the Da Nang Women’s Union said: “The Danang Women's Union representing 9 provinces participating in the project highly appreciates UN Women's timely support in COVID-19 gender-responsive responses. Equipping women, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups with COVID-19 prevention information and supplies, is essential, especially when the pandemic is still ongoing but many people might have let their guard down.”

hoang bich thao

Hoang Bich Thao

UN Women
Communications and Advocacy Analyst

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UN Women
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