Australian Government helps Northwestern women improve their lives

09:58 | 25/07/2018 Economy- Society

(VEN) - The Australian Government officially kicked off its Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program in Northwestern Vietnam in a bid to empower, create jobs and improve incomes for local women. 

australian government helps northwestern women improve their lives
Mr Lo Minh Hung, Vice Chairman, People’s Committee of Son La province (center) visits a booth at the program

The AUD 33.7 million (approximately VND 600 billion) program, implemented from 2017 to 2021 will empower local women to engage in agriculture and tourism markets, enhance women’s voices in economic decision-making. The program will partner with a diverse range of actors, including the private and non-government sectors in agriculture and tourism to improve the policy environment and stimulate inclusive and equitable growth the mountainous north-west region of Vietnam.

It is expected that the program will assist some 40,000 self-employed women to boost their incomes and create approximately 4,000 jobs for women to drive economic growth in the provinces.

Mr. Justin Baguley, Counsellor, Economic and Development Cooperation at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, remarked: “Gender equality is a priority for both Australia and Vietnam and a critical part of the Australian Government’s development cooperation in Vietnam. The GREAT program aims to stimulate innovative solutions to enhance the lives of women, their families and local communities in north-west Vietnam and will also contribute to higher productivity and economic growth in the region. We look forward to working closely with the provinces of Lao Cai and Son La to make the program a success”.

"Son La province has been placing our greatest efforts on reducing poverty and improving gender equality. We highly appreciate the support of the Australian Government along with the Vietnamese Government’s investment in initiatives on poverty reduction, gender equality improvement and socio-economic development in the program districts and the Son La province as a whole," said by Mr Lo Minh Hung, Vice Chairman, People’s Committee of Son La province, Co-chair of Steering Committee of GREAT program in Son La province.

A forthcoming call for proposals was also announced at the event, with a closing date in mid-August. The call will be available to partners from both private and public sectors and aims to develop and implement innovative market-oriented solutions to persistent poverty and economic marginalisation among women in ethnic minority communities in the two provinces. Successful applicants will receive financial and technical support from the program, and in exchange will help to enhance linkages with new markets and suppliers; improve the policy environment; and contribute to sustainable social development in north-west Vietnam.

Nguyen Huong