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National Consultation workshop Vietnam Land Access for Women Program

On March 18th and 19th 2015, a National Consultation workshop was held in Movenpick Hotel, Hanoi, as an event of the Vietnam Land Access for Women Program carried out by the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS) in collaboration with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), sponsored by USAID.


Day One of the workshop welcomed over 60 distinguished guests from governmental institutions such as the Department of Gender Equality (Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs), the Committee on Social Affairs (National Assembly), the Department of Familial Affairs (Minitry of Culture, Sport and Tourism) etc; and representatives from mass organizations, for example, Vietnam Fatherland Front, Women’s Union Vietnam, Lawyers Association, Land Alliance (LANDA) etc. Besides national level, there were also representatives from the People’s Committee, Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs etc. from the governance of Long An and Hung Yen provinces, where the program is implemented. From the international organizations, there were the attendance of representatives from UNDP, UNWomen, Oxfam, Care, DFAT, the Asia Foundation, ActionAid etc. and the American Embassy, Netherlands Embassy, Embassy of Switzerland and Embassy of Ireland etc. In addition, there were also representatives from universities, research centers/institutes, local non-government organizations as well as journalists from the media.


At the workshop, Dr. Khuat Thu Hong – Director of ISDS – shared some findings from their rapid assessment in Hung Yen and Long An about women’s access to land. Findings showed that many women are not aware of the importance of having their names in the Land Use Certificates (LURCs). Their shy and unconfident mentality results in the fact that all documents and papers related to land and or property are dealt with by the husbands. A great number of women stated that they are not able to cope with land dispute issues. Besides, the report also identified existing factors affecting women’s land access such as: limited awareness, gender norms, and complicated administrative procedure.

The report received positive feedbacks from the participants in the workshop, mostly agreed that it is of extreme necessity to improve people’s awareness. This is very important in order to ensure women’s rights on land access.

mr_tuong_duy_luong ms_Phuong
Mr. Tuong Duy Luong, Former Tribunal President of the People’s Supreme Court, said that even though law stipulates that when land is a common asset, the LURC needs to have both names of husband and wife, in reality there are still a great number of cases where the LURCs have only one name which is mainly the husband’s. Therefore, women are usually vulnerable and often suffer loss in conflicts. “To bring law into real life is needed, for people to understand and be aware of their rights and legislative issues” – Ms. Le Thi Mong Phuong, Gender Specialist, said.
During discussion time, the workshop participants contributed numerous suggestions about the training programs and toolkits designated for the community volunteers. The idea of building and using community volunteers to help people with land disputes and to disseminate legislative knowledge was highly appreciated in the workshop.



Day Two of the workshop was a smaller scale meeting between representatives from the program’s sponsor, the two organizations running the program as well as from the local governments of the 4 communes in Long An and Hung Yen provinces. Within this meeting, plans on communication, trainings and network building were discussed and decided.



Mr. Nguyen Duc Toan, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Tan An commune, Can Duoc district, Long An province said that as land is a complicated subject, it is essential to be attentive with how the community volunteers should work.

Timetable and details of the trainings for community volunteers in Long An and Hung Yen provinces were agreed in this Day Two of the workshop.

After the two day workshop, steps on how to carry out the program, contents of the trainings, answers on how to manage community volunteers and how to build the advocacy network were consolidated in accordance to the program’s initial objectives. Questions and issues raised during the workshop have helped provide ISDS and ICRW with ideas and experience in order to maximize the efficiency of the program.

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