Vietnam: Raising students’ awareness of gender stereotypes

By 23 December 2020News, Recent News

Planète Enfants & Développement has organized recently working sessions with students from the International University of Hong Bang in Vietnam to fight against sexist stereotypes and raise awareness about domestic violence.

For 80% of young Vietnamese, crying is reserved for women while physical strength is the attribute of men, according to a survey conducted by the iSEE Institute in 2013 (1). The main objective of our training is therefore to deconstruct the stereotypes assimilated through the media since childhood. The program of the 6 sessions organized with the students includes interventions with specialists on gender issues, complemented by group work . 

Adolescence is a time of prejudice and stereotypes of all kinds. It is interesting that students can interact with professionals to identify and decipher them. Thus, during the work sessions, they were able to become aware of the image of men and women portrayed by the media and advertisements: when a woman is evoked, she is always sensitive and weak; conversely, men are portrayed as strong and characterful.

These sexist clichés conveyed by the media and rooted in Vietnamese mentalities have harmful repercussions. For instance, it is difficult for women to access leadership positions. 58% of married women say they have experienced some form of physical, sexual and/or emotional violence at some point in their lives from their intimate partner.

Training with students therefore highlights the issue of gender violence. Sexual abuse against women and the LGBT community persists in Vietnam. This violence occurs in the privacy of homes, but also in public places. It is important to alert students and inform them on how to detect or react if one is a victim or witness of such a situation. During the group workshops, students were able to share their knowledge and ideas on the subject before having the expertise of experts.

This preventive training is part of our Hy Vong project, carried out with 3 partner associations, to combat violence against women and girls in Vietnam. 

Example: Students divide into two groups and work on a sheet of paper with a character drawn on it. They note their knowledge and their questions about gender issues.

(1)     iSEE = The Institute for Society, Economic and Environmental Studies (iSEE) is an organization working for the rights of minority groups in Vietnam. The above mentioned study dates back to 2013. There is little analysis on the subject of gender violence in the country.

December 15, 2020