VIETNAM: Equal Coverage Needed for Gender Equality

YVONNE EPPS WRITES—Part of the reason why gender inequality is still a problem is due to our refusal to talk about it. In Vietnam, the discussion portal is open and someone is finally taking the podium.

Thanh Nien News is on a roll with addressing gender inequality in the media.  During a conference held by the Ministry of Information and Communications, the leading Vietnamese language daily reported that delegates found that people in the media have poor awareness about the topic of gender equality.

The discussion pointed to the media not being sensitive to publishing gender biased information.  This is a shame considering that the country is making progress with gender equality in education according to the United Nations Development Program. The idea that media should be the tool to subvert such biased perceptions emerged from the convention, but is the media really ready to do that?

It turns out that both men and women need to be ready in order to address these problems. Feminism is next to nonexistent in Vietnamese society, in which women feel that there is nothing much that can be done regarding gender equality. Access to education and employment have improved, but the conversation must also extend to men.

Some aspects of a woman’s life that can be improved in Vietnam regard things like domestic violence, body shaming, and other types of gender-based discrimination. By addressing gender representation and equality in the media, we can finally build momentum towards gender equality more effectively.

Unfortunately, it seems that Thanh Nien News is the only one taking steps to address gender inequality in the media. Other state run newspapers have not mentioned gender inequality at all this year, which supports Thanh Nien News’s argument that this is an issue that cannot stay hidden for much longer.

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