The U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City recently held a seminar calling for action against women-targeted violence, attracting many students from universities in the southern Vietnam hub.
The event, which marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, took place on November 25 at the U.S. Consulate General’s American Center on the 8th floor of Diamond Plaza at 34 Le Duan Street, District 1.
Besides raising awareness on taking action against women and girls-targeted violence, it also mentioned laws in both the U.S. and Vietnam that save women from domestic violence and discussed solutions to eliminate this problem.
The seminar saw the participations of three guest speakers including Malikat Rufai, cultural affairs officer of the U.S. Consulate General; Tran Thi Ai Lien, founder of “Ban Cua Be” (children’s friends), a local charity organization; and Nguyen Thi Hau, Deputy Secretary-General of the Vietnam Historical Science Association.
According to Rufai, in the past, domestic violence was considered not only a repugnant and awful act but also a “private affair” between husband and wife. It was believed that women had done something to deserve abuse.
However, these days, many awareness campaigns have made an effort to oppose violence and fight for women in around the world.
“While the occurrence of crimes against women continues to be a problem in our society today, the hope is that with the continuous passage of laws expanding protection of women’s rights there will be a marked decline eventually leading to eliminating the problem all together,” she added.
Violence against women and girls not only has harmful effects, both physical and spiritual, on the victims but also cause economic damage to their families and society at large.
According to a study by the United Nations, domestic violence against women and girls in Vietnam caused total economic damage that accounted for nearly 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP value in 2012.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls aims at raising awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence.
This occasion is also an opportunity to point out that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.