December 6, 2023
HÀ NỘI — More than 1700 international and Vietnamese athletes declared their commitment to stopping violence against women through a run yesterday in Hà Nội.
Entitled “Run for Zero Violence against Women and Girls in Việt Nam”, the event around Hoàn Kiếm Lake was a chance for people of different ages and abilities, to say “No Excuse” to all forms of gender-based violence whether physical, mental, sexual or digital.
The second edition was organised by the Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescent (CSAGA) as commissioned by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund in Việt Nam in partnership with the Government of Australia.
“I have been waiting for this race for months,” Nguyễn Thị Lan Anh told Việt Nam News.
“The run pushes our spirit and here we can see everyone joining hands to end violence, especially violence against women and girls,” said Anh who competed in a wheelchair.
The race was part of Việt Nam’s National Action Month for Gender Equality, and Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence, which runs from November 15 to December 15.
This event was also part of the annual “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 running through to International Human Rights Day on December 10.
Together with other UN agencies in Việt Nam, UNFPA Việt Nam aim to raise awareness and spark advocacy for change. It’s high time to take action to end all forms of violence and harmful practices including child marriage, digital violence, intimate partner violence and rape, among other atrocities.
“We all believe that light will overshadow darkness and smiles will wipe away the tears. In collaboration with UNFPA, we have organised this second running race in the hope that our efforts will contribute to bringing about peaceful lives to all women and girls,” Nguyễn Vân Anh, CSAGA director, said.
“They deserve to live without fear of gender-based violence. Let’s take action towards a healthy and sustainable development.
“Organising the race at Hoàn Kiếm Lake, an iconic landmark of the capital city, is one way to lure people’s attention to our message of love and ‘zero violence against women and girls’.
“Elsewhere out there, many women and girls still have to run away and fear violence. Through our event, they might know that many people are by their side and want to change the situation of gender-based violence in Việt Nam.”
Violence against women and girls happens everywhere, in homes, schools, businesses, parks, public transport, sports arenas, and increasingly online. Gender-based violence remains the world’s most chronic, devastating, and most overlooked violation of human rights.
The second National Study on Violence against Women in Việt Nam in 2019, showed that 63 per cent of married women aged 15-64 reported experiencing some form of violence at least once in their lifetime by their husbands or intimate partners.
Half of women who experienced violence kept silent, and over 90 per cent of gender-based violence survivors did not seek any help at all.
Women with disabilities, young people, LGBTQI+ and ethnic minorities are more likely to be targeted with abuse or harassment or have their images abused online. Between 40 and 68 per cent of young women with a disability experience sexual violence before age 18.
“Today’s race shows our strong commitment to ending domestic violence and gender-based violence both in the real world and in the virtual world,” said Matt Jackson, UNFPA representative in Việt Nam.
“Today we say ‘No More Violence. No Excuse!’. Everyone has the right to body autonomy and equal access to sexual and reproductive health. So however, you run, jog, walk, roll, wheel – however you make your way around Hoàn Kiếm Lake, today we are all racing for equality. For our shared goal where all women, girls and young people can live free from violence.”
Australian Deputy Ambassador Mark Tattersall said: “This morning we send a message from the heart of Hà Nội to all people in Việt Nam: violence against women and children is never acceptable. We are here in support of victim-survivors and bystanders to violence against women and children who choose not to stay silent. Ending violence against women and children is the responsibility of all.” — VNS