By Huong Dang, CEO & Founder, HopeBox Social Enterprise –
Vietnam has made significant strides in terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Women are highly represented in the workforce and occupy prominent positions in business and government. However, despite these achievements, the country is still facing a significant challenge when it comes to violence against women.
A national study on violence against women in 2019 estimates that 63% of women in Vietnam have experienced some form of violence at least once in their lifetime, and 90% did not report it at the time it happened.
This issue is perpetuated by traditional gender norms and attitudes that often perpetuate harmful stereotypes about women and their roles in society.
Domestic violence in Vietnam has been outlawed since 2007, but there is still a lack of comprehensive psycho-economic recovery services for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors post-rescue. The absence of a transitional employment model that is inclusive and trauma-sensitive significantly impedes GBV survivors’ sustainable reintegration.
One of the most important steps to address this issue is to promote gender equality and challenge harmful gender stereotypes through education and awareness-raising campaigns. Both men and women should be targeted to change attitudes and behaviors that contribute to violence against women. Education must be included in the curriculum for students at school to teach them about these issues.
Improving access to support services for victims of violence, including shelters, counseling, and legal aid, is also crucial. This can help ensure that women feel safe and supported when coming forward to report instances of violence and can prevent further harm.
Additionally, holding perpetrators accountable for their actions through effective legal frameworks and law enforcement is essential.
Strengthening laws and policies to protect women from violence, providing training for law enforcement officials to respond appropriately to reports of violence, and ensuring that perpetrators are prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law can all help in this regard.
At HopeBox, we are aware that not all women start life with the same opportunities. Embrace Equity means realizing that every woman will have a different set of circumstances she is working with, and the importance of allocating much-needed resources to reach an equal outcome for her. We are proud to employ hard-working women who are survivors of GBV and provide a transition model that offers employability skills (including hospitality skills training, job search skills, career development), life skills, trauma healing, and work-based therapy to help them achieve stability and economic security.
In the last three years, we have partnered with Vietnam Airlines during International Women’s Day to provide gifts of empowerment to their passengers on selected flights and raise awareness of these pressing issues. Alongside Vietnam Airlines, we also partner with RMIT Vietnam, Manulife, and Mcredit to provide their employees and partners with gifts that keep on giving.
Violence against women is a significant challenge in
Vietnam, but it can be addressed through promoting gender equality, challenging harmful gender stereotypes, improving access to support services, and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Everyone has a role to play in this fight, and we must work together to create a safe and supportive environment for women in Vietnam.
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