Vietnam Farmers’ Union - United Nation Fund Population Agency: Announcing the launch of the new hotline for supporting women and girls experiencing violence
On the afternoon of December 15, the Central Committee of Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VNFU) in collaboration with the United Nation Fund Population Agency in Vietnam (UNFPA) held a ceremony to announce the hotline to support women and girls who have suffered violence and handover dignity kits for female farmers at risk of violence in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Member of Party Central Committee, Secretary of the Party Union, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Farmers' Union Luong Quoc Doan highly appreciated UNFPA's support to VNFU over the years
Member of Party Central Committee, Secretary of the Party Union, VNFU Chairman Luong Quoc Doan and Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative chaired the ceremony.
Other participants attending the ceremony include VNFU Vice Chairman Nguyen Xuan Dinh; representatives of departments, units of VNFU Central Committee; representatives of relevant ministries, social organizations and international organization; provincial and city Farmers’ Union, etc. The establishment of a new free hotline is important now because there are a lot of victims of violence, especially those living in rural areas. Now they can easily access to a timely and friendly channel for help.
The result of the national survey on violence against women in Vietnam in 2019 funded by UNFPA showed that the rate of violence against women in rural areas (28%) is higher than the rate of violence against women in urban areas (22%).
The survey also showed that nearly two-thirds of women (62.9%) experienced at least one form of physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence as well as other acts of violence control from her husband. Half of all the women who have experienced physical or sexual violence by their husbands have never told anyone about it. Most women experiencing violence (90.4%) did not seek any help.
This situation seems to be aggravated in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of calls to the UNFPA-supported hotline has doubled or even tripled due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to issuing warnings, UNFPA have actively promoted the establishment of a new hotline because the existing hotlines are operating at a higher frequency than originally planned.
In his opening speech, Member of the Party Central Committee, Secretary of the Party Union, VNFU Chairman Luong Quoc Doan highly appreciated UNFPA's support to VNFU over the years.
Mr. Luong Quoc Doan said: “We will operate the hotline 1800 1768 in the most effective way, contributing to reducing gender-based violence in rural areas. This is a practical step of VNFU in protecting the rights of our members, especially female members, and changing men's attitudes towards domestic violence. We appreciate the support from UNFPA and Government of Japan”.
Speaking at the launch event of the hotline, Ms. Naomi Kitahara - UNFPA Representative in Vietnam praised the strong commitment from VNFU Central Committee in ending violence against women and girls, especially those living in rural areas.
Ms. Naomi Kitahara emphasized: “We need all stakeholders to make more efforts and cooperate more strongly to support the Vietnam government. All women and girls in Vietnam, including the most vulnerable, have the right to live a life free of violence and they should be prioritized as part of the response to Covid-19. We need to make sure that every citizen is a part of the country's sustainable development, leaving no one behind. We will not leave women and girls behind.”
Following the program to support 24.377 dignity kits for female farmer members at risk of gender-based violence in 11 provinces and cities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and Central Vietnam flood, UNFPA continues to support VNFU with 8.400 dignity kits for female farmer members in 05 provinces and cities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic including Ho Chi Minh city, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An, Tien Giang.
The dignity kit includes basic items that women and girls need to use to protect themselves and maintain their personal hygiene, self-esteem and dignity in the face of crisis. It is featured in UNFPA's comprehensive humanitarian assistance package to protect the health and sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls, as well as to prevent and respond to domestic violence. In addition, the kit includes not only essential information for sexual and reproductive health, but also essential information and communication materials for the prevention and response to domestic violence.
According to VNFU Chairman Luong Quoc Doan, VNFU will receive and transfer directly to female members and farmers at risk of violence in 5 provinces and cities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic according to the plan agreed between the parties.
On behalf of VNFU, Chairman Luong Quoc Doan would like to thank UNFPA, the Government of Japan for their valuable understanding, cooperation and effective assistance for women and girls at risk of violence due to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.