Overcoming difficulties and challenges with its serious and dynamic attitude, the Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Sector of Dak Lak province has always successfully completed its assigned tasks. In particular, gender equality and advancement of women is a remarkable achievement that has helped local socioeconomic development.
In 2022, like other sectors in Dak Lak province, the Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Sector had to carry out tasks and plans in a difficult context.
Implementing Official Letter 418/LDTBXH-BGD dated February 23, 2022 of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs on instructions for implementation of gender equality in 2022, from the beginning of the year, the Dak Lak Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs advised the Provincial People's Committee to launch Plan 41/KH-UBND dated February 25, 2022 on implementation of communication programs on gender equality to 2030 in the province; Plan 204/KH-UBND dated October 19, 2022 of the Provincial People's Committee on implementation of the Action Month for gender equality and to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in 2022. In addition, departments, agencies, sectors and localities actively worked out action plans for gender equality according to their assigned functions and tasks.
To effectively enforce the Law on Gender Equality, the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs carried out key tasks and solutions with respect to gender equality at the grassroots level; integrated gender equality into the formulation and implementation of local socioeconomic development strategies, master plans and plans. The department sped up collection and processing of information and data on gender equality; made annual and periodic reports and assessments on gender equality implementation; trained, fostered and informed gender equality officers; thoroughly understood, propagated and disseminated education on gender equality and for women’s advancement; launched the Action Month for gender equality and gender-based violence prevention and control in 2022.
These efforts yielded positive results. Up to now, the share of women in economic, political and social activities has increasingly risen.
Politically, women accounted for 18.87% in Party committees at all levels in the 2020-2025 period and 20% in the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee. Women officials made up 27.84% in district and grassroots agencies and 23.44% in commune-level Party committees. Women leaders accounted for 28.94% in Party-affiliated bodies like advisory and assistant agencies to the Provincial Party Committee and provincial socio-political organizations and 16.66% in the Standing Boards of district-level Party committees. Five out of nine National Assembly members (15th term, 2021-2026) or 55.6% are women. They comprised of 25.33%, 26,90% and 27.49% of deputies in Provincial People’s Council, District People’s Councils and Communal People’s Councils, respectively.
In the economic, labor and scientific fields, 98.88% of women at working age were active in agriculture, forestry and fishery in 2022. Women-led/owned companies and cooperatives reached 25.49%. Women-owned companies accounted for 29.89% in the province in 2022.
In the education and training fields, the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs cooperated with localities, agencies and units to actively inform students’ parents and the community of gender equality and education for girls; engaged parents, schools and community in gender equality, abolition of inappropriate gender stereotypes and eradication of school violence. The department increased the rate of girl students and reduced girl dropouts.
In the health field, the women's healthcare system from provincial to grassroots levels has been consolidated and upgraded, with special priority given to remote areas; and nutrition counseling provided for pregnant women and nursing mothers. The department propagated all pregnant women to take full-dose tetanus vaccination; regularly delivered iron tablets to prevent anemia for pregnant women; carried out examination and monitoring of early pregnancy management registration in districts and communes throughout the province.
In the cultural, information, physical training and sporting fields, the communication system from the province to the grassroots worked well, particularly in gender equality. All radio and television stations in districts, towns and cities had programs and topics on gender equality.
In the family field, all-tier government and people paid attention to intervention solutions to prevent and combat domestic violence. In 2022, domestic violence cases decreased from 2021. Gender equality violations were strictly handled. In 2022, the Legal Aid Center under the Department of Justice directly participated in legal proceedings, counseling and free legal aid for 117 women (including 46 ethnic minorities and 71 Kinh people). Therefore, women’s legitimate rights and interests were promptly protected with legal assistance. This helped raise women's awareness of law observance, civilized lifestyle and grassroots democracy to enhance women’s advantages in the family and in society.
Joint effort and unity on gender equality
Dak Lak province is characterized by a diverse culture as it is home to many ethnic groups with different cultures, customs and languages. In some places, gender inequality still exists. Cultural characteristics, geographical factors and insufficient personnel made it difficult to inform and disseminate the Law on Gender Equality.
But, gender equality is quite good in Dak Lak province. Party committees and authorities at all levels are increasingly concerned about gender equality. Endeavored by relevant sectors and mass organizations, the awareness of Party members and people of gender equality has gradually been raised.
With their assigned functions and tasks, most departments, branches and district-level authorities worked out action programs and plans on gender equality in the 2021-2030 period. Besides, they got close coordination, direction and timely guidance from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Department of Gender Equality and the National Committee for the Advancement of Women.
In addition, the province informed, disseminated and taught the Law on Gender Equality, integrated and combined gender equality into activities and meetings of agencies and units to raise perception of public employees.
In the coming time, in order to achieve more positive gender equality results, the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will propose the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs to coordinate with relevant sectors to amend, supplement and provide specific guidance on implementation of relevant laws and policies to ensure consistent and right implementation of tasks and solutions set out in Resolution 11 of the Politburo on women's affairs: “Implement man-woman equality principles in terms of age in planning, training, promotion and appointment” and provisions of the Law on Gender Equality: “Men and women are equal in professional standards and age when they are promoted or appointed to the same management and leadership positions of the agencies and organizations”. The department will also enhance information on policies on development of kindergartens; support policies for poor women at birth and policies on retraining for women officials who are bringing up children aged under 36 months. It will continue to train and foster professional skills for gender equality staff; give priority to training gender equality officers in Party and State agencies. It will request technical support (trainers, materials, funds, etc.) to scale up gender equality to ethnic areas.
The department will ask the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People's Council and the Provincial People's Committee to care and direct relevant bodies to actively carry out Plan 57-KH/ TU dated April 16, 2018 of the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee on implementation of Directive 21-CT/TW of the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee on continued promotion of women's affairs in the new context; Directive 12/2009/CT-UBND dated December 29, 2009 of the Provincial People's Committee on implementation of the Law on Gender Equality, programs and projects relating to gender equality in the 2021-2030 period.
By Quoc Hung, Vietnam Business Forum