On the morning of 2nd October 2007, millions of Vietnamese women throughout the country directed their attention toward the Capital, where the opening of the Tenth National Women’s Congress – the Congress of “Unity, Creativity, Equality and Development” – was taking place.
The 10th National Women’s Congress is held at a time of great historical significance. After 20 years of renovation, Vietnam has made great achievements in socio-economic development. The entire Party, people and army have made a massive effort to successfully implement the Resolution of the 9th Party Congress. Vietnam has become an official member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The passage of the Law on Gender Equality and Resolution No. 11-NQ/TW on “Women’s mobilization in the period of accelerating national industrialization and modernization” has presented many favorable opportunities as well as serious responsibilities for the women’s movements and the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU).
* Enjoying a Great Day
Before the Congress’s Opening Ceremony, on the morning of 1st October, at historical Ba Dinh Square, delegates from all over the country, dressed in a variety of Vietnamese traditional clothes, paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum. All delegates wish Uncle Ho’s descendants unanimous, joined for advancement and constantly development for women as Uncle Ho’s desire, deserve with unyielding spirit of Trung Lady, Trieu Lady and golden virtues that Uncle Ho awarded women “heroism, undauntedness, faithfulness, responsibility”.
Eagerness and pride were the common feelings of the delegates attending the 10th National Women’s Congress. on the morning of 2nd Oct 2007, the National Conference Center, where the 14th APEC leaders’ meeting successfully took place almost a year earlier, was opened to 1,193 exemplary delegates, representing women of different generations, strata of society, ethnic groups and religions from all corners of the country, more than 400 delegates who are leaders of the Party, the Government, ministries, industries, central units of organizations and unions, leaders of local Party branches and authorities, heroic Vietnamese mothers, heroes of labor and heroes of the people’s armed forces in the renovation process. The oldest delegate was Mrs. Le Thi Nhan, exemplary representative of the Cao Dai religion (in Tay Ninh province), and the youngest delegate was Ms. Duong Thi Thu Phuong (18 years old), student at Ha Noi Medical University. More delegates attended the 10th Congress than any of the previous congresses, , with 200 more than the last one.
The Opening Ceremony of the Congress began at 8 a.m. on 2nd Oct 2007. In the opening speech, Mrs. Ha Thi Khiet —Member of the Central Party Committee, Head of the People’s Mobilization Commision of the Party, President of the Vietnam Women’s Union, and Chairperson of the National Committee for the Advancement of Women in Vietnam — expressed the gratitude of WUs at all levels to leaders of the Party and Government for their attention to and facilitation ofthe development and advancement of women’s movements in recent years. She highlighted the meaning and importance of the 10th National Women’s Congress, the significant achievements of WUs at all levels and of the Vietnamese women in general during the previous tenure, and the difficulties and challenges in the coming tenure. She emphasized that during the country’s renovation process and integration into the world economy, the Party and the Government have paid particular attention to promoting the strength of national unity and encouraging the enormous efforts of the entire Party and people, including the constructive contribution of women at all strata.
The Gender Equality Law recently passed by the National Assembly and Resolution No. 11-NQ/TW on “Mobilization tasks for women in the national industrialization and modernization period,” recently issued by the Politburo have shown the Party’s direction and created many opportunities for women. But they also present very important tasks for women, requiring Women’s Unions at all levels to further increase their roles and responsibilities and encourage women to contribute more toward the development of the family, the country, and gender equality. Therefore, this National Congress has a very important task — to identify significant issues that deeply affect the women’s movements and VWU activities and programs in the comprehensive integration and development period, and at the same time to elect to the Executive Committee women who are moral and competent and able to represent women in the country, express the extensive unity , reflect the will and aspirations of women in Vietnam, contribute with all people throughout the country to overcome difficulties and challenges, and make every effort to successfully accomplish the goal “a prosperous people, a strong country and an equitable, democratic and advanced society.”
Addressing at the Congress, General Secretary Nong Duc Manh complimented and expressed appreciation for the considerable achievements recorded by the overall women’s movements as well as the tremendous efforts made by the Vietnam Women’s Union and all strata of Vietnamese women over the past 5 years. Considering the difficulties and challenges arising from international integration, the General Secretary recommended that the Congress be fully aware of the Party’s 10th National Congress Resolution and the Politburo’s Resolution on “Women’s work in the period of accelerated industrialization and modernization,” carefully review the results recorded by the Vietnam Women’s Union and Vietnamese women’s movements as a whole. He also requested the congress to point out shortcomings and their causes and put forward measures to enhance the roles of the Women’s Union and the overall women’s movements in the renovation period. In addition, the General Secretary stressed key programs to be implemented by the Women’s Union at all levels in the coming tenure. They are: to continue to enhance awareness of women’s work and gender equality; to foster the education and enhance consciousness on gender equality of officials, party members, and all strata of people; to develop, and accomplish the law and policy on gender equality; and to help women to make advancement . In addition, it is critical to further care for training women’s cadre as part of national human resource development. Women’s Unions at all levels need to renovate its activities substance and methods, regarding this as the most strategic task in the new development period. The General Secretary expressed the hope that, with the heightened strength of national solidarity and the enormous contributions of all strata of women as a part of it, the country would successfully conduct the course of renovation, firmly rising up from poverty and underdevelopment.
* Sharing one faith
Women are becoming more and more progressive – that is the general sentiment of the former generation regarding women today. Especially for Heroic Vietnamese Mother Dinh Thi Chuy, delegate from Ho Chi Minh City – who has 2 sons who have passed away and another 2 who are disabled soldiers. Today, attending the National Congress, Mrs. Chuy expressed her delight because this Congress has shown a lot of improvement and women are now able to obtain more advancements and opportunities, share knowledge, acquire new information, and access modern science and technology, resulting in the development of women in all fields. Ms. Chuy always places her highest aspirations on the National Congress. She believes that the success of this Congress will provide more practical measures for supporting the advancement of women. While a Catholic Nun, Quan Market, Ho Chi Minh City said, the understanding degree of women has been clearly improved, especially in these recent years. Women are not only skillful at social work but also at family matters, successfully completing the role of wife and mother in the family. She hopes that after the National Congress’s Resolution is implemented, many women will be able to achieve employment opportunities, raise their incomes, and reduce social evils.
Ms. Vang Thi Pang, President of the Commune Women’s Union of Cao Pha in Mu Cang Chai district – the farthest mountainous district of Lao Cai province — who is taking part in the National Women’s Congress for the first time, said that in the last period there were many women being provided loans to develop their families’ economies, enhance their capacity in science and technology, obtain business education, and — especially — eliminate illiteracy. She expressed the wish that after the Congress, women living in remote and ethnic minority areas will be paid more attention, further developing women movements and contributing to the implementation of provincial socio-economic tasks.
To contribute to the achievements of women in the field of artistic culture during the last period, women have been continually practicing, doing their best, and serving the public by means of their talent. Coming to the Congress, meritorious artist Lan Huong expressed the hope that she and her colleagues will continue to bring the culture and beauty of life to the population, especially people living in remote highlands and areas near the border.
In my opinion, all the delegates at the Congress, from wherever and in whatever position, are eager to learn, progress and devote themselves to the national good. They are all pioneers in putting the Resolutions of the 10th National Women’s Congress and the 10th Party Congress into practice.
Do Hoa - Translated by Int’l Relations Department