In the context of the globalization and the 4.0 industrial revolution is going quickly, gender equality is the topic have been attracted and discussed in many countries as well as international forum. The multi- stakeholder forum with the theme of “promoting gender equality in the digital age and integration” aimed at discussing on the new issues arising about gender equality, and identifying the challenges and finding out the measures to exploit the chances that the 4.0 industrial revolution bring back and promoting gender equality in the digital age and integration in Vietnam.
Vietnam is considered as the country eliminates the gender gap fastest in the past 20 years by the international organizations. However, gender inequality in some areas remains an ongoing matter needed the concern. The digital age and integration with the widespread adoption of technology bring many opportunities and challenges for gender equality. The situation of gender inequality in Viet Nam has been improved rapidly, reflected by the good gender development indicator (GDI), gender gap indicator (GGI) and gender inequality indicator (GII). According to the human development report in 2016, the GII of Vietnam is 0.337, ranked 71/188 countries; GGI index is 0.700 ranked 65/183 countries; and the GDI of 1,010 belong to the first group in five groups (188 countries) that rank in terms of gender equality in the human development index.
Speaking at the forum, Deputy Minister of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha said that in recent years, the legal system and policies of Vietnam on promoting gender equality has been constantly built, amended, supplemented accordance with the direction of progress. Many strategies, plans, programs and projects related to gender equality are promulgated and implemented effectively. The Law on Gender Equality, launched in 2006, marks a new phase in the promotion of gender equality in Viet Nam. Other policies on poverty reduction, support for start-ups, job creation, support for labourers, students ... indicate priorities for female beneficiaries.
According to statistics, the rate of women in the labour market is over 70%, and female-owned enterprises and owners of production and business establishments account for 31.6%. Gender development indicator, gender gap indicator, and gender inequality indicator are at high average level. Vietnam Human Development Report 2016, Vietnam is ranked in the top five gender equality categories - the group of countries with the best gender equality in the world.
According to Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha, despite many important achievements, Vietnam still faces many challenges in gender equality. The participation of women in management and leadership at all levels is still low; Female labourers’ income are lower than men; Female workers are more vulnerable when businesses cut out their workforce… 98% of the female-dominated businesses are small, medium and small, focusing on the areas of trade, low profit ... Female business owners are limited in qualifications, business management skills, difficulties in access to official credit. In addition, women face other problems such as domestic violence, victims of human trafficking, labour exploitation and sexual harassment.
At the workshop, delegates said that the digital revolution, the 4th industrial revolution with the rapid and widespread application of technological advances such as Internet, artificial intelligence, automation, robots ... predicted will have a great impact on many aspects of life, socio-economic. Humans will be freed from hard work, hazardous work, repetitive work, as well as housework. The digital age will open up many new opportunities for the development of the knowledge economy and new forms of business, and this is also seen as an opportunity for both men and women to enter the labour market and promote the real gender equality.
According to Dr. Dao Quang Vinh, Director of ILSSA, Vietnam and many other countries will benefit and also be affected by the digital revolution in the context of international integration is going strong. Male and female workers can only take advantage of the opportunities of the digital age and integration when they are equipped with good human capital, access to opportunities of equal employment and business and supported by fair, effective policies.
At the forum, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha said that along with continuing to improve the legal system, policies, action programs, measures to propagate and apply advanced technology into management, it is more important for all men and women to change their perceptions of discrimination, women and men to improve their knowledge and skills of protect themselves, while actively participating in economic, political and social activities. The Deputy Minister urged each individual and every agency to implement gender equality within their families and organizations for equitable progress and for sustainable development.
The Deputy Minister also sent the message "Gender equality is the happiness of every family and the foundation of a civilized society, we should join hand to realize the goal of gender equality in Vietnam." She believed that after this Forum, there would be more policy dialogues, more effective gender equality policies and measures to be implemented. It would be the practical contributions to the implementation of the objectives of the National Strategy for Gender Equality and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).