Gender equality and diversity: World Radio Day in Viet Nam

Media Promotes Gender Equality was the major topic of this year’s World Radio Day in Viet Nam where more than 250 members of the press, academics, students and representatives from international organisations celebrated the transformative power of radio.

Public participation in radio was the overall theme of this year’s World Radio Day under the slogan “Radio is You!”  As Susan Vize, UNESCO Representative to Viet Nam, pointed out radio “offers a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level, and a forum for people to voice their opinions, recommendations and contributions.” She added that in Viet Nam this is especially true for remote communities.

The celebration was organized jointly by the national radio station Voice of Viet Nam and the UNESCO Ha Noi office, and invited students and professionals to share experiences and ideas for encouraging a greater variety of perspectives in national radio broadcasting.

 Gender equality in the media is a priority for Viet Nam and the event raised awareness of a fledgling initiative designed to track gender equality in media. The Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) of Viet Nam were launched in 2014 by the Ministry of Information and Communications, with technical assistance from UNESCO.

Gender balance and diverse voices for a flourishing society

UNESCO is also actively engaged in promoting gender equality in its creative and cultural spaces through a programme called “Enhancing fundamental freedoms through the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions”, funded by the Swedish government. Being a Party to the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Viet Nam has made a commitment to putting in place policies which support women as creators and producers of cultural goods and services. An innovative initiative of the Vietnamese Government called “Women’s Innovation Day” embodies such a commitment. This biennial event brings together diverse Vietnamese women from all fields to inspire their creativity for the socio-cultural development of the society.

This also extends to ensuring gender balance in the sphere of the media as freedom of thought, expression and information, as well as diversity of media, enables cultural expressions to flourish within societies, as stated in the Convention.

Through promoting the participation of diverse actors, and more broadly of different backgrounds, via participation in the media and through the arts, Viet Nam intends to incorporate the development of cultural industries as a core element of its economic and social development strategies and ensure gender equity.