19/01/2018 09:13 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

APPF-26: Delegates back Vietnam´s gender equality topic

Delegates to the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) voiced their support for Vietnam´s initiative to take gender equality and empowerment of women and girls as one of the key topics discussed at the meeting this year.

After the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians, which was held on the first working day of the APPF-26, Vice Chairman of the Russian State Duma Olga N. Epifanova said she fully backs Vietnam’s incorporation of women empowerment and gender equality into this annual meeting’s agenda.

Stephenie Ritland, Attorney Advisor Federated States of Micronesia, also applauded the theme. "I think it is a very important topic", Ritland told Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reporters.

"We currently don´t have any female parliamentarian in our congress […] I think it´s fantastic (that Vietnam has a female NA leader) as it sets a great global example. Vietnam is taking great steps moving forwards," Ritland said.

She also spoke highly of Japan's recommendations for the amendment to the APPF rules that are ‘very significant’ to promoting gender equality.

This year, the Japanese delegation brings to the APPF meeting a proposal that seeks to amend the APPF Rules of Procedure, allowing the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians to become a permanent feature of the event.

"This is the first attempt to do that. Even though we come from different countries, we share common issues when it comes to trying to solve gender equality issues. Having discussions in this kind of women parliamentarians meeting will benefit each delegation in solving their own problems’, said Yoshiko Kira, Member of House of Councillors at the National Diet of Japan.

"Fortunately, the meeting unanimously adopted Japan´s proposal to amend the APPF rules", she noted, adding that the proposal will be brought to the Executive Committee and then the Drafting Committee for consideration.

"We are hoping that it will be adopted on the final day of the APPF," she said.

"I think all parliaments should together combat issues of women, girls and children", stated Alexander O’Connor, Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services of Fiji.