Conversations between men contribute to promoting gender equality in Vietnam

HCMC - The Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam launched the Globalguytalk initiative on the occasion of International Women's Day 2021, aimed at starting conversations between men that can influence attitudes and contribute to creating a more equal society.

Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women’s Union Ha Thi Nga (1st R) and other guests attend the Globalguytalk event at the Vietnam Women’s Museum – PHOTO: COURTESY OF EMBASSY OF SWEDEN IN VIETNAM

Addressing the launch ceremony at the Vietnam Women’s Museum early this week, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Mawe said, “The overall objective of gender equality is a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all spheres of life. One part of achieving that is for men to understand their chance to be a part of positive change and to reflect on their own situation.”

“My belief is that it is necessary for a healthy family relationship that men talk to each other and overcome the prevailing patriarchal mentalities of not sharing emotions,” she added.

Besides conversations about gender equality with the participation of both men and women, Globalguytalk also features 21 panels that showcase men’s experiences and thoughts about gender equality and how to accelerate it.

Globalguytalk is a follow-up of the photo exhibition titled “Swedish Dads” by Johan Bavman, which is shown in over 70 countries including Vietnam. The exhibition has inspired quite a number of similar initiatives in Vietnam during the last few years including “Vietnamese Dads” and “Equal Families”.

According to the Swedish Embassy, it is vital to involve boys and men in the work for gender equal societies, for example by implementing initiatives that promote positive forms of masculinity. Male engagement is a key factor in removing the underlying social and cultural attitudes that support gender inequalities.

“I am impressed and find it interesting to see the content of this exhibition, because there are not many forums for Vietnamese men to share their thoughts. That shows us equality sometimes does not come from the big thing, but it comes from harmony, emotion and a desire from both sides. From there, joining hands and efforts to build a more equal society,” said Nguyen Hai Van, director of the Vietnam Women’s Museum.

Globalguytalk is a joint project of the Swedish Institute, Swedish non-profit foundation Make Equal, the Vietnam Women’s Union, the Vietnam Women’s Museum, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Embassy of Sweden. The Globalguytalk initiative will run until March 14 at the Vietnam Women’s Museum, 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.