This is the message delivered at a joint workshop organized in Hanoi on 16 July by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Vietnamese Women Union (VWU) to discuss gender equality in social insurance in Viet Nam.
The event was a chance for the two organizations to introduce their new quantitative and qualitative reports which provide a gender assessment of the social insurance system in Viet Nam and present recommendations on how to promote gender equality within the framework of the ongoing revision of the 2014 Social Insurance Law.
Addressing the workshop, VWU Vice President Tran Thi Huong, emphasized that “the development of the social insurance system can lead the way for good implementation of social protection policies, contributing to the country’s socio-economic development.“
She noted that the event is one of the activities within the framework of the ongoing collaboration between VWU and the ILO with target of promoting gender equality in social insurance in Viet Nam. Among participants at the workshop were members of the National Assembly, as well as several ministries.
During the workshop, the ILO highlighted the introduction of a multi-tiered child benefit as one of the policy measures with greater potential in terms of impact. This benefit includes two tiers. The first tier would cover children of parents who are not registered in Viet Nam Social Security (VSS), and would be tax-financed. Meanwhile, the second tier would cover children of parents registered in VSS, provide a higher benefit, be financed through contributions of both workers and employers, as all other social insurance benefits.
A multi-tiered child benefit can help expand social insurance coverage in Viet Nam, while at the same time providing financial support to every child in the country. Furthermore, such a benefit can also have strong redistributive effects, providing greater support to families with lower incomes, and potentially replacing the role currently being played by social insurance lump sum withdrawals to a significant extent."André Gama, ILO Viet Nam’s social protection programme manager
Closing the workshop, the VWU Vice President recognized the value of the opinions and suggestions shared at the event for VWU to continue its research and contribute to the process of developing and implementing programmes and projects to provide comments and inputs to draft policies and laws on social insurance. This process will contribute to the achievement of the goals set by the Party and State and the spirit of the 13th Party Congress aiming to ”implement sound social policies, ensure social protection and welfare, human security, create strong changes in social development management, implement social progress and justice, improve quality of life and happiness of the people”.
The collaboration between the ILO and VWU started in 2020 and has since produced evidence based policy recommendations to improve gender equality in Viet Nam’ social insurance system in the future.