Saturday, April 17, 2021, 07:14 (GMT+7)

Monday, March 08, 2021, 08:29 (GMT+7)
Work for the advancement of women and gender equality performed within the Military

Recently, the Ministry of National Defence (MND) Committee for the Advancement of Women has organised a conference to review the 5-year implementation of the Action Plan for the advancement of women and gender equality within the Military in the period of 2016-2020. The conference has also formulated the guidelines for the foreseeable future in order to assert military women’s role and create a favourable condition for their advancement and comprehensive maturity in the military environment.

Grasping resolutions, directives, plans and guiding documents by the Party, the State, the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the MND, particularly the 10th Politburo’s Resolution 11-NQ/TW, dated April 27th, 2007 on “the women-related work in the period of accelerating national industrialisation and modernisation,” the Directive 21-CT/TW, dated January 20th, 2018 by the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat on “enhancing the women-related work in the new situation,” and the National Strategy on Gender Equality in the period of 2011-2020, the MND Committee for the Advancement of Women (hereafter the MNDCAW for short), party committees, commands, and political offices at all levels have always well performed this important work within the Military. In the process, they have identified the contents, goals, and targets in accordance with each unit.

Head of the Vietnam Women’s Union Ha Thi Nga (in red) talking with members of the Military Women Committee

To well carry out the work for the advancement of women and gender equality, all-level CAWs have been frequently consolidated and they have given sound advice to party committees and commands on raising the effectiveness of the work for the advancement of women and gender equality. Women’s unions within units have promoted their proactiveness, creativity and unity, while acting as representatives of women’s legitimate rights and benefits and creating a favourable condition for women to develop in the military environment and fulfil motherhood in their families. At the same time, women’s unions have proactively cooperated with relevant competent offices in directing units to conduct the work of propagation and education to raise their staff members’ awareness of gender and gender equality. Women’s unions have also regularly renewed the forms and methods of propagation and education, while organising activities relating to gender equality in accordance with units’ practical conditions and the fight against COVID-19. The MNDCAW has designed and delivered leaflets, posters, handbooks, books, and DVDs to all women’s unions across the Military so that they would study and discuss the issues of gender equality, while propagating the “Action Month for Children,” the “National Action Month for family violence prevention and control,” and the Vietnamese Family Day. Due attention has been paid to including the knowledge of gender in extra-curricular propagation, dissemination, education programmes within military schools. Political reporters within the Military have focused on improving the knowledge and political zeal of female soldiers and employees under the Military’s general plans/programmes. Press agencies both inside and outside the Military have opportunely propagated the women-related work, gender equality, and typical female collectives and individuals. The MNDCAW has collaborated with the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs in launching the national programme titled “Action Month for gender equality and gender-based violence prevention and control” in 2020. Offices and units across the Military have cooperated with politico-social organisations in encouraging the people to strictly conform to our Party and State’s guidelines and policies on gender equality and take part in preventing and fighting against violations of rights of women and children. Consideration has been given to implementing the Law on Gender Equality and the Law on Family Violence Prevention and Control, combating social evils and the trafficking of women and children across borders, and improving the quality of women’s unions, thereby contributing to well implementing the policy on military rear and cementing the unity between the Military and the people in the performance of localities’ defence-security missions and the building of stable, strong political bases.

The implementation of the Action Plan for the advancement of women and gender equality within the Military has made contributions to proving women’s role in the Military’s activities. More women have occupied leading or commanding role, thereby gradually narrowing the gender gap in politics, labour, and employment. Due regard has been paid to improving the quality of female personnel and ensuring equality between male and female in education, training, and healthcare services.

However, there have been weaknesses in the execution of the Action Plan for the advancement of women and gender equality across the Military. Several party committees and commands have yet to exercise close leadership and direction over this work; therefore, the effectiveness of all-level CAWs has been limited while their staff work has yet to be proactive or flexible. Several targets have yet to be fulfilled under plans. The development and execution of the action plans within some units have yet to be effective and there have not been solutions to overcome weaknesses in the work for the advancement of women and gender equality. The integration of gender education into documents in several units has yet to be promoted.

Currently, Vietnam’s industrilisation, modernisation, and international integration have created more employments and enabled women to take part in white-collar jobs instead of manual, poisonous labour. Our Party and State have always facilitated the work for the advancement of women and gender equality as the basis for their development. However, this work will be confronted with challenges from the 4th industrial revolution, the Military’s force adjustment and rearrangement of military enterprises, the military build-up, and the building of women’s unions. The goal of the Action Plan for the advancement of women and gender within the Military in the upcoming time is to increase the number of female cadres participating in party committees and performing the leading, managing role within units (over 30% of their strength). The gender gap in labour and employment will be narrowed. The rate of newly-recruited female employees will be over 40%. The rate of women in difficulty will be reduced to below 1.8%. The quality of female personnel will be raised while 5%-10% of female cadres will be trained or retrained. More importantly, all female employees will be provided with regular medical examination. To achieve those targets, commands and political offices at all levels should focus on implementing several central measures as follows.

First, enhance leadership and direction over the execution of the guidelines and policies by the Party, the State, the CMC and the MND on the work for the advancement of women and gender equality. It is necessary to transform targets and goals set by the National Strategy on Gender Equality in the period of 2021-2030 into specific action plans in accordance with the Military’s particularities. At the same time, it is important to include targets and goals set by those action plans in party committees’ resolutions and commanders’ work programmes. Significance should be attached to creating a favourable condition for the training of women and their career development.

Second, actively propagate the work for the advancement of women and gender equality via mass media both inside and outside the Military, with emphasis placed on raising the awareness of gender equality amongst cadres, officers, service men and women, and employees. Importance should be attached to disseminating law and policy regarding gender equality, well organising the International Women’s Day (March 8th), the Vietnamese Women’s Day (October 20th), and the “Action Month for gender equality and gender-based violence prevention and combat (from November 15th to December 15th) on a yearly basis in accordance with each office and unit’s characteristics and practical condition.

Third, maintain close coordination between affiliated CAWs at all levels and competent offices in reviewing and assessing the women-related situation to counsel the planning, training, retraining, and use of female cadres for leading and managerial positions within military units. Due regard should be paid to ensuring sufficient policies and entitlements for women. Priority should be paid to maintaining employments for female personnel during the rearrangement of military enterprises.

Fourth, frequently improve the quality and effectiveness of all-level CAWs. At each level, it is essential to actively renew the organisation of CAWs in order to bring into play their core and advisory role in ensuring gender equality. Due attention should be paid to maintaining the order for information and report under regulations. Great weight should be attached to inspecting and supervising the execution of regulations on gender equality, opportunely commending and multiplying collectives and individuals with outstanding achievements in the work for the advancement of women and gender equality, criticising and fighting against violations of law on gender equality.

Fifth, promote the role of the Military Women Committee and the standing agencies of all-level CAWs in organising movements and campaigns launched by the Party, the State, the Military, and unions. Great value should be attached to combining the National Strategy on Gender Equality and the Action Plan for the advancement of women and gender equality within the Military with military women’s emulation movements and the Determination to Win Emulation Movement so as to encourage military women’s role in performing the political task of offices and units across the Military.

Sr. Col. PHUNG THI PHU, PhD, Head of the Military Women Committee

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