Many journalists and media bosses in Vietnam have poor awareness of gender equality, delegates said at a conference held Tuesday by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
“The media is expected to provide information on gender equality,” Vu Manh Cuong, a lecturer at the Hanoi University of Social Sciences and Humanities, said.
“Unfortunately, many of them do not have gender equality right in their offices.”
Nguyen Thai Thien, deputy director of the Press Department, said there should be changes to gender-biased perceptions in the media, which would lead to changes in the stories they publish.
“Gender-biased information has been carried in the media without the reporter and editor being aware in many cases.
“The media should play a better role in changing such wrongful perceptions in society and governmental agencies.”
Do Quy Doan, a former deputy minister of information and communications, said certain stories in newspapers and television are gender-biased.
Do Quy Doan, a former deputy minister of information and communications, calls for promoting gender equality in the media at a conference Tuesday. Photo: Minh Hung
“Sometimes images of women are published without thinking it is gender-biased, like that of the mother whose five-year-old son died in a 20 meter (66-ft) fall from a giant kite after his feet were trapped in the kite string in Ho Chi Minh City recently.”
The information ministry urged the media to implement the Gender Parity Index it has created based on UNESCO norms.
The ministry’s guidelines, released last year, provide criteria for gender equality, including women’s participation in decision-making, the workplace, associations, clubs, education and training and news and advertisements.
According to the UNDP, Vietnam has made remarkable progress in its gender equality targets, with successful increase in girls’ participation in education.
The labor force participation rate is 73 percent for women, compared to 82 percent for men. Women’s representation in the National Assembly is currently 24.4 percent.
However, a persistent preference for sons and devaluation of girls is demonstrated by the worsening sex-ratio at birth, which is at 111.9 boys to 100 girls nationally.