Working sector

Vietnam has put significant effort into hunger eradication and poverty reduction and has some remarkable achievements; according to a report by the World Bank, the national poverty rate fell from 58% in 1992 to 14.5% in 2008. However, increases in economic inequality; especially in remote areas and the negative effect of climate change on these areas have created new challenges for Vietnam. Eighty percent of Vietnam’s population earns their livelihood from agro-forestry production, and 70 percent of these workers are female; in these situations, ethnic minority women face some of the most severe effects.
It is for this reason that SRD, CERDA and CSDM are working towards achieving the common goal of helping ethnic minority communities to escape from poverty. Activities under this project will equipe ethnic minority groups with valuable, sustainable and adaptable skills that enhance their livelihoods and ability to adapt to climate change. Increasing women’s contributions to their communities will help to fully develop their potential and enable them to their livelihoods and the livelihoods of their families, as well as contributing new ideas to the development of the community.
We have conducted and supported a number of interventions in the following fields:

Based on our analysis, we have realized that the limitations faced by communities in  mountainous areas prevents production as well as  limits access to new and advanced knowledge on production and product consumption. In addition, there are still some agricultural practices which are not appropriate or adaptable in the context of climate change.
These interventions focus on providing new and advanced technology that enhance production and support credit and skills which develop the economic positions and market access of local populations.

These three organizations take an approach to sustainable development for ethnic minority groups that focuses on enhancing and promoting the network of CBOs at the grassroots level. Capacity building for CBOs in three provinces lays a solid foundation for promoting the network of CBOs to disseminate activities as well as to attain effective results in ethnic minority areas.
Through the activities of the CBOs will give ethnic minority women the opportunity to actively participate in the development of their livelihoods, to improve their income, become members of the Board of Management and manage the activities. CBOs also hold forums where women can meet to discuss issues relating to their families and communities confidently with men. Adequate understanding of the rights and responsibilities of local people will strongly promote grassroots democracy and gender equality within communes.

When it comes to improving the power relations of women in general or of ethnic minority women in specific, it simply is the improvement of understanding of a woman about her roles, responsibilities and most importantly, her interests in a family or community. This will help women to considerably improve their lives and their communities.
The project: “Non-Governmental Organizations acting to improve the livelihoods of ethnic minorities in Northern mountainous areas of Vietnam” has applied the above principles to execute several activities to empower women. Women in these areas have also participated in exposure trips to visit and learn from successful livelihood models of farmers inside and outside of the districts. Thus, female farmers have a chance to exchange experiences about family case as well as to actively participate in the social activities of the community.
Women will have more chances to participate in the process of community management when increasing income and improving the quality of life has been prioritized. In addition, this will improve the way that men and society recognize women’s contributions and roles. The most important thing is that women recognize their imperative role in the development process of the country.