Raising awareness of gender-based violence in remote areas of North-West Vietnam Stories

8 December, 2021

The Vietnam-based Aus4equality Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program is a flagship initiative of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is managed by Cowater International. Through working with the Provincial People’s Committees (PPCs) of Son La and Lao Cai provinces, the private sector and NGOs, GREAT aims to empower local women, promote inclusive business partnerships and improve sector governance and policy.

As part of its efforts to equip women to participate in and benefit from economic activities and growth, GREAT is implementing awareness raising events on the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV). GBV is rooted in gender inequalities and disproportionately impacts women and girls. Discriminatory social norms that regard men as primary breadwinners increase the risk of violence against women who achieve economic success or become more active in economic activities outside of the home. The work undertaken by GREAT is especially relevant given the recent global evidence of increased domestic violence in the context of COVID-19 due to movement restrictions and quarantine, leaving many women isolated in unsafe situations.

GBV training events hosted by GREAT project

In partnership with provincial, district and commune Women’s Unions in Lao Cai and Son La, GREAT has been hosting community-based communications events on gender-based violence prevention in remote districts and communes. The events aim to create positive changes in awareness and behaviours of ethnic minority women and men to combat all forms of violence against women in the northern mountainous areas of Vietnam.

“Thanks to these events, I can understand more and share the burden of more vulnerable people. With the knowledge I learned today, I will return to my village and share with other men that the husband and wife need to share and understand each other to mitigate domestic violence and have a better marriage.”, said Mr Vu A Thu, Mong ethnic group, Nam Than village, Lien Minh commune, Sa Pa, Lao Cai.

Earlier this year, GREAT trained members of Women’s Unions in Lao Cai and Son La to equip them with the skills to organise these training events. Public information meetings that utilized creative methods such as theatre plays, open discussions, targeted questions and games were used to share messages relating to GBV prevention and awareness. The target audiences included men and women from local communities and representatives from the district and commune government.

 “As a result of participating in this event on gender-based violence prevention, I know more about the different forms of violence. I also learned that women need to have knowledge and information, speak up and talk about violence issues with the local authorities, police or other reputable people to receive support. This event is very meaningful as it helps me gain more skills to identify domestic violence behaviours.”, said Ms Tang Thi Huong, a Dao woman from Tan Lap, Moc Chau, Son La.

To learn more about the Aus4Equality|GREAT program please visit:

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