|“Mending fishing net” by Giang Son Dong from Bac Lieu Province won the first prize of “Rural women and sustainable development” photo contest. Photo: Courtesy of Australian Embassy in Vietnam
Photos on display are top 40 photos shortlisted from more than 1,000 entries of the “Rural women and sustainable development” photo contest which was launched in March on the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8) by UN Women with the support of the Australian and Canadian embassies.
The photos give viewers a glimpse into the lives of rural women, the challenges they face, and the important contributions they make to Vietnam’s development across many areas, including technology, sustainable agriculture, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, entrepreneurship, leadership and decision making.
Addressing the exhibition’s opening ceremony last week, Elisa Fernandez, head of the UN Women Vietnam office, said: “Even in the absence of words, photographs can portray reality in a manner that is honest, eye-opening, thought-provoking and reflective, while still being entertaining and easily understood.”
“We believe that photography is a powerful tool to raise awareness and to trigger positive development in society. Looking at all of the entries, we see positive changes regarding the empowerment of rural Vietnamese women,” she added.
“Canada is committed to sustainable development and women’s empowerment. Through the exhibition, we want to raise awareness for and celebrate the women who have helped shape Vietnam into the thriving and prosperous country that it is today,” said Robert Bissett, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Canada in Vietnam.
According to a report of the General Statistics Office of Vietnam in 2015, women constitute a significant percentage of the agricultural workforce in the country.
In rural areas, up to 63.4% of working women are in agriculture compared to 57.5% of working men. Rural women make substantial contributions to the country's economic growth.
However, rural women and girls remain among those most likely to experience poverty and lack access to resources, such as land, agricultural extension, finance, education and healthcare.
As a direct result of gender inequality, rural women and girls fare worse than their rural male counterparts on almost every measure of development.
October 15 has been chosen the International Day of Rural Women. This year the United Nations commemorate the day under the theme “Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.
The “Rural Vietnamese women’s contribution to sustainable development” exhibition will run until November 10.Saigon Times