Australia and Vietnam work together on gender equality for stronger economies | Company

Australian Ambassador Robyn Mudie speaks with a woman who successfully joined the project in Son La province during the symposium. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – The Australian-funded Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) program held a symposium, Engaging Women in Markets – Scaling up Local Successes Nationwide, in Hanoi on May 27.

Throughout the day, the GREAT program team and Government of Vietnam officials discussed evidence and lessons learned from the GREAT program that can help inform the implementation of Vietnam’s National Target Programs (NTPs). Both NTP and GREAT aspire to stronger socio-economic opportunities in the North West region of Vietnam, especially for the ethnic communities that inhabit the region.

GREAT is Australia’s largest gender investment in Vietnam, totaling AUD 33.7 million (USD 24.1 million). The program works with businesses, NGOs, governments and civil society partners to create more inclusive trade and market systems in the agriculture and tourism sectors in Son La and Lao Cai provinces. It also ensures that local women and ethnic minorities actively participate in and benefit from economical activities and growth.

The GREAT program began in 2017 and is now entering a second phase which will see the program extended until 2027.

Nguyen Thanh Hai from the Project Management Committee in Son La and Le Hong Phong from the Project Management Committee in Lao Cai shared the experience of delivering GREAT, especially the lessons learned with regards to improving agriculture and tourism sectors while actively working to promote women’s economic empowerment.

“Over the past five years of implementing GREAT with the program team, we have stronger evidence of what works and what needs improvement in our provincial contexts,” Phong said. “We are now actively working to increase women’s participation in these sectors because it is good for women and their families, good for business and good for the economy. We look forward to applying the lessons of GREAT to the implementation of NTPs. »

“This success belongs to all of GREAT’s partners – the provincial governments of Son La and Lao Cai, as well as the businesses, civil society organizations and communities with which GREAT works,” the Australian ambassador told Vietnam Robyn Mudie.

“Today is an opportunity to look to the future with the shared ambition to take this success to scale. Together, we can benefit more businesses through stronger connections to markets and, most importantly, enable more women to participate in these markets,” she added.

Symposium participants also heard from successful women entrepreneurs from both provinces, who provided advice on how governments and businesses can better support women, including those from ethnic minorities, not only to access economic opportunities, but also to thrive in work and business.

On this occasion, GREAT’s business and education partners provided updates on the establishment of business services and support for the agriculture and tourism sectors in the North West, including improving access financing, digital inclusion and the availability of market-oriented training.

The skills of just a few of these women were shared with all at a night market, cooking show and cultural performances. Symposium attendees had the opportunity to sample the products, products and experiences that governments, communities and businesses in Son La and Lao Cai aspire to harness in their quest for inclusive and sustainable economic development./.


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