Female Vietnamese leaders in US deputy ambassador’s eyes

March 9, 2009

The US Deputy Chief of the Mission in Vietnam, Virginia Palmer, is impressed by female Vietnamese leaders, who are very active in social activities. She talked about them on the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8).

The US Deputy Chief of the Mission in Vietnam, Virginia Palmer, talked with VietNamNet reporter.


On March 8, Vietnamese women receive a lot of flowers so it is really a special day. In the US, congratulations to women are often seen on websites, statements and slogans. I myself am not presented with flowers like Vietnamese women on this special day.


On the day for women, I wish to honour Vietnamese women whom I’ve met here, who have made wonderful contributions to your country.


The first woman I would like to mention is Mrs. Truong Tuyet Mai, the Chairwoman of the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs. Mrs. Mai is a positive person who plays a great role in promoting the struggle against domestic violence in Vietnam. This is a significant task not only for Vietnam but also our country, the US.


I’m especially impressed that 26% of Vietnamese National Assembly deputies are women. This is a large number because in the US, only 13% of congressmen are women.


The second woman whom I wish to honour is Mrs. Tran Thi Thanh Thanh, former minister and chairwoman of the Committee for the Protection and Care of Children, chairwoman of the Association for the Protection of Vietnamese Children’s Rights. Mrs. Thanh has worked to promote the rights of women and children, particularly equality and the right of children to study.


I’ve also met with Mrs. Pham Thi Loan, Chairwoman of the Hanoi Association of Small- and Medium-size Enterprises. Mrs. Loan always makes every effort to help women get equal opportunities in doing business.


When I went to the south, I was very impressed by Mrs. Pham Phuong Thao, Chairwoman of the HCM City People’s Council. Mrs. Thao is a self-motivated woman but I’m especially impressed that she goes to work by bike.


Mrs. Mai, Mrs. Thanh and Mrs. Thao and other women who are leaders in Vietnam are good role models for young girls. They can help them understand that they don’t need to be men to have significant roles in society.


It is a pity that my Vietnamese is not good enough to be able to meet and talk with beautiful Vietnamese girls at the age of 17. But I’m very impressed by Vietnamese women as they are self-confident and comfortable about their roles as women. They don’t feel disadvantaged that they are women. Vietnamese women are very beautiful in ao dai. In this dress, they look gentle, charming, but also strong and powerful.


So far, the US Embassy has cooperated with Vietnam to promote the role of women in society. We are combining with the United Nations and Vietnamese partners to carry out programmes to prevent and combat family violence and develop programmes to give more power to women in business.


In the next three years, we will use $1 million to help victims of human trafficking, mainly women and children, to re-integrate into the community.



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