Domestic violence against women arouses public concern

Ha Noi, Dec. 29 (VNA)-- How to reduce the current widespread of domestic violence against women and girls and ensure gender equality and development and peace in the new century was the goal of a seminar held in Ha Noi on Dec. 28.

Domestic violence or mal-treatment by husbands towards wives have reportedly occurred in 84 percent of the poor households. Surveys conducted in 18 provinces out of the 61 provinces and cities nationwide showed that more than 11,000 offences in which husbands beat wives or daughters have taken place over the last eight years. The offences in rural areas doubled those in urban areas.

Viet Nam is an agricultural country where the rural population makes up 75 percent of the total population, so how to educate each family's men to have good behaviour towards their wives and children is a major social concern, the seminar was told.

Despite important progress made in the struggle for the advancement of women, Viet Nam has still been facing an increasing rate of domestic violence against women, said Viet Nam Women's Union President Ha Thi Khiet.

She told the seminar that in addition to physical violence, women were also facing moral hurts or insults or being left alone to shoulder the burden of housework and family responsibilities.

The trading in women and girls has also increased recently, she stressed.

Khiet, therefore, urged the participants to turn this seminar into a forum to reflect a joint commitment to "fight violence against women and for gender equality in the interest of development and peace."

The seminar was co-sponsored by the Viet Nam Women's Union and the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM).--VNA