BANGKOK — Vice President Võ Thị Ánh Xuân on Thursday proposed four measures to help women make use of their potential and play their part in the economic recovery process post-COVID-19.
Xuân was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Global Summit of Women in Bangkok, Thailand.
The event gathered 600 representatives from 52 countries and territories, including Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha and other high-level government and business leaders.
With the theme “Women creating opportunities in the new reality”, the three-day conference focuses on empowering and promoting women in the socio-economic recovery process after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vietnamese Vice President said women were among the most affected by the pandemic despite their important position and role in the development process.
“Many of them have seen their health affected, lost their jobs, received less income, fallen prey to poverty and violence, and lagged behind in terms of know-hows, skills, and opportunities for re-integration,” she said.
“Nonetheless, if together we can change our mindset and act, these difficulties and challenges can completely be transformed into opportunities, as the post-pandemic world is quickly moving toward recovery and growth.
“Positive trends in sustainable development, green and inclusive growth, digital transformation, public-private partnership, social security, and education reforms, among others, have created new economic opportunities for women.”
Xuân proposed four measures to level up the role of women and help them thrive in the ‘new reality’.
“Firstly, we need to bolster the voice and participation of women in legislative and executive bodies, and the planning and implementation of development policies,” she said.
“Women should be viewed as the goal, the driver, the subject, and at the same time, the beneficiary of the pursuit of a ‘new reality’, a comprehensive economy, a fair society, and sustainable development.
“Secondly, economic empowerment for women is essential in the new context. Necessary frameworks and policies should be put in place to facilitate women’s entrepreneurship and access to finance and digital know-hows, ensure fair pay, and stable and suitable employment for women.
“We need to fully harness the role of organisations and networks, in order to gather and connect women at all levels so that they can share experience, inspire, and support each other for mutual growth.”
The third point, Xuân added, is to further advance gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment in responding to climate change, minimising natural disaster risks, and ensuring sustainable livelihoods.
“As one of the countries most heavily impacted by climate change, Việt Nam is keenly aware of the issue’s urgency,” she said.
“Many solutions have been proposed to transform the growth model, build a green, sustainable, circular and environment-friendly economy, and increase people’s resistance and adaptability to climate change, particularly of women and girls.
“Finally, we should enhance the capacity of female workforce, to draw from their potential and strength, and their desire for ownership and betterment. Women need to make good use of opportunities from the Fourth Industrial Revolution and gain access to advanced knowledge and digital applications in order to keep up with current major trends.
“Starting now, there must be education strategies focusing on girls, to turn them into a skilled workforce for the future.”
The Vice President also outlined the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in promoting gender equality, narrowing gender gaps, creating opportunities for women and girls, and supporting female entrepreneurs.
She also highlighted how the post-COVID socio-economic recovery and development programme, which is being implemented by the Government, would help women and girls in the country.
“This includes various priority policies to support women and girls in healthcare, education, employment, income, and violence prevention,” Xuân added.
“In addition, Việt Nam is actively improving policies and laws to facilitate women’s participation in the economy, and in the development of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
“Women’s involvement in areas with high added value such as science and technology, high-quality agriculture, among others, is encouraged via effective solutions.” — VNS