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Engaging men and boys in promotion of Gender Equality and Elimination of Gender-based Violence

Hannah Nguyen Hannah Nguyen

ngminhphuong26@gmail.com

March 03, 2021 | 06:48

On March 2, the national forum on "Engaging men and boys in promotion of Gender Equality and Elimination of Gender-based Violence" happened for the first time in Hanoi with 200 delegates participated both online and offline.

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Engaging men and boys in promotion of Gender Equality and Elimination of Gender based Violence
At the national forum on “Engaging Men and Boys in the Promotion of Gender Equality and the Elimination of Gender-based Violence”. Photo: UN Women/Ngoc Duong

The forum was jointly held by UN Women in Vietnam, the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), and the Network for the Prevention of and Response to Gender Violence (GBVNet), with financial support from the Australian Government.

It offered an opportunity for organizations, groups and men clubs from the whole nation introduce and share their models, lessons, experiences and challenges in mobilizing the participation of men in promoting gender equality, as well as preventing and responding to violence against women and children, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the inaugural speech, Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam expressed his appreciation towards the initiative, stressing: "With the active participation of men, women and others, I believe the process to achieve gender equality goals in the Sustainable Development Agenda till 2030 of Vietnam will be accelerated. Because promoting gender equality is what everyone has to do, for everyone's benefits!"

Engaging men and boys in promotion of Gender Equality and Elimination of Gender based Violence
Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam speaks at the event. Photo: UN Women/Ngoc Duong

Country Representative of UN Women in Vietnam Elisa Fernandez Saenz spoke highly of the success of men’s clubs in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City and welcomed the initiative to set up the network.

She expressed a belief that the network will spread positive attitudes about masculinity, change rigid gender norms, and help men ease the pressure caused by these norms and engage them in activities to promote gender equality and combat gender-based violence in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, ISDS Deputy Director Tran Kien said that many Vietnamese men have realized that to avoid being left behind in the new era they must participate more in promoting gender equality and sharing opportunities with women.

This lies behind the establishment of a network of men and boys participating in the promotion of gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence, Kien added.

Engaging men and boys in promotion of Gender Equality and Elimination of Gender based Violence
Delegates at the forum stressed that men are the important agent for ending violence against women and girls. Photo: UN Women/Ngoc Duong

The initiatives and efforts by Vietnam, as Chair of ASEAN in 2020, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, and Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), to foster cooperation in promoting gender equality and women empowerment, which could be seen in the successful organization of the first ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit, the ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Strengthening Women’s Role for Sustainable Peace and Security, and the International Conference on Women, Peace and Security.

The important outcomes of those activities have helped step up international efforts in the promotion of gender equality in 2020, which marked the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and also the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Delegates at the forum agreed to establish a network of men and boys participating in the promotion of gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence in Vietnam./.

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Hannah Nguyen