Social protection

Viet Nam Women’s Union promotes gender-responsive social protection system across Viet Nam

ILO-Viet Nam Women’s Union collaboration sees trainers go nationwide to help women better understand their rights and benefits under the social protection system.

Press release | Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, Viet Nam | 22 May 2023
Training workshop on social protection, gender equality and the role of the Viet Nam Women’s Union, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, Viet Nam. © Thanh Tu/ILO
DONG HOI, QUANG BINH, Viet Nam (ILO News) - The capacity of Viet Nam Women’s Union (VWU) staff at all levels to discuss, promote, and make the case for a more gender-responsive social protection system in Viet Nam has been strengthened following a week of joint activities with the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Taking place in Dong Hoi, Quang Binh from 8-12 May 2023, the session built on over four years of collaboration, research and advocacy between the two institutions in the area of social protection.

Training of Trainers (ToT) took place, aimed at equipping a core team of VWU staff with tools to allow them to teach VWU representatives at grassroots level.

Ms Bui Thi Hong, Head of VWU’s Organisation Committee said “The training package for policy advocacy in social protection developed through ILO-VWU collaboration will equip Women's Union officials at all levels with basic knowledge to advise on social security policies for their members.”

Going forward, the ToT trainees will organize and implement further training events with VWU staff at the decentralized level. The first of these trainings took place in Dong Hoi during the week’s activities, as an immediate follow-up to the ToT.

The Social Protection and Public Finance Management Viet Nam project is enabling the ILO and the Viet Nam Women’s Union, together with other stakeholders, to develop a gender training package for policy advocacy in social protection. The training materials will help build up the capacity of the Women’s Union staff at the central and subnational levels to actively participate in policy discussions and dialogues on promoting gender equality in social protection in Viet Nam.

ILO will initially support the TOT trainees to ensure a smooth roll out of their new skills.  VWU will subsequently take over the training and will extend it across Viet Nam in the near future.

The ILO and VWU see this ability to build the capacity of VWU representatives at district and commune level as key to improving VWU’s engagement in policy discussions at local level. It will also further strengthen the union’s capacity to better inform women across Viet Nam about their rights and benefits under the social protection system.

“We see this training and workshop as the culmination of four years of joint work between the ILO and VWU,” said Andre Gama, ILO Social Protection Manager for Viet Nam. “It is of paramount importance that we make sure that our collaboration is able to influence not only the knowledge and capacity of VWU leaders, but most of all that it can benefit Vietnamese women.”

The ILO work on gender-responsive social protection in Viet Nam in recent years has been identified as a source of best practices and has been presented in several international forums dedicated to the topic. The ILO and VWU see this as an important validation of the success of their joint work and hope to continue and build on it going forward.

“We hope that in the coming time, the ILO will continue to accompany the Viet Nam Women's Union in activities to improve capacity on communication and monitoring of gender equality in social security policies for the Women's Union at all levels”, said Ms Hong. She added “This will eventually result in more social security policies to address the needs of people and in particular, women.”

Trainees discuss reasons behind limited access to social protection. © Thanh Tu/ILO
Group activities during the Training of Trainers. © Thanh Tu/ILO
André Gama, ILO Social Protection Manager for Viet Nam speaks at the training workshop. © Thanh Tu/ILO