Investing in Women promotes workplace gender equality in Vietnam The Saigon Times Daily Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick speaks at the workshop – PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ORGANIZER HCMC – Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, has cooperated with the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Vietnam to hold a workshop on workplace gender equality in Hanoi. The workshop, organized on October 19, drew some 200 participants from government agencies, local authorities, international organizations, non-government groups, and the media. According to UN Women, women remain under-represented and unrecognized for their efforts and successes in peace and political processes at all levels. Addressing the workshop, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick said: “Gender inequality should no longer be seen as a purely social issue, but as an economic one that presents a key challenge to attaining inclusive and sustainable growth.” Investing in Women’s assistance for Vietnam will focus on five areas including paternity leave and workplace childcare, unequal retirement ages between women and men, equal pay between men and women for work of equal value, the ban on women in certain areas of employment, and provisions to prevent sexual harassment. “Creating an enabling environment for women in the workplace is a priority for the Vietnamese Government,” Nguyen Thi Ha, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said at the workshop. The Constitution of Vietnam identifies as state policy the protection of women’s rights and prevention of discrimination.