Vietnam: raising awareness of gender stereotypes among students

14 Dec, 2020

Planète Enfants & Développement has organized working sessions with 93 university students in Vietnam in recent weeks to fight against gender stereotypes and raise awareness about domestic violence.

For 80 % of Vietnamese youth, 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. On the program of the 6 sessions organized with the students: interventions of specialists on gender issues, completed 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 working sessions, they were able to become aware of the image of men and women portrayed by the media and advertisements: when a woman is mentioned, she is always sensitive and weak; on the contrary, men are represented as strong and temperamental.

These sexist clichés conveyed by the media and rooted in the mentalities of Vietnam have harmful repercussions. For example, it is difficult for women to attain leadership positions. Worse, 58% of married women report having experienced some form of physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse at some point in their lives by their intimate partner.

The training with the students therefore places a strong emphasis on gender-based violence. Sexual abuse of women and the LGBT community continues to strike in Vietnam. This violence occurs in the privacy of the home, 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 getting the expertise of experts.

This preventive training is part of our Hy Vong project, conducted with 3 partner associations, to fight against 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 record their knowledge and questions about gender issues.

(1) iSEE = The Institute for the Study of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) is an organization that works for the rights of minority groups in Vietnam. The study mentioned above dates back to 2013. There is little analysis on the topic of gender violence in the country.

December 15, 2020

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