Hanoi (Agenzia Fides) - The appointment of the first female president of Vietnam is an opportunity to "do more for the poor": says to Agenzia Fides Nguyen Thi A, a secular Catholic of the Archdiocese of Hanoi, highlighting that "Vietnam needs an economy that helps the poor in rural areas with education programs, health care, housing and welfare, job opportunities and social security". Furthermore, more needs to be done for "freedom of religion and speech in society", he hopes.
On September 23, Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh was appointed "interim president" after the death of the former president Tran Dai Quang, former head of internal security, at the head of the nation since 2016. The National Assembly of Vietnam had elected Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh as vice president in 2016, and now the woman will remain in office until Parliament elects the new leader at the end of October.
"The appointment of Ngoc Thinh is symbolically important. What matters most is what the nation needs and that is to help the poor have a dignified life with full respect for dignity and human rights", says ti Fides Nguyen Thi A, appreciating that "there is no gender discrimination when it comes to top positions in the country", and hoping for an "improvement of the conditions of women in Vietnam".
A Catholic teacher, Vu Thi B, from the Archdiocese of Saigon agrees and tells Fides: "The country remains fundamentally poor. Political leaders must do more in this sense", noting that there is a gender imbalance in society, in favor of the male gender especially when it comes to work, both in the public sector and in the private sector. ".
According to a report by the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union, Vietnam ranks 61 out of 193 countries when it comes to the participation of women in Parliament. The number of women in decision-making positions at all political levels in Vietnam remains low and reflects firmly-rooted gender stereotypes about the role women in the country's society, says the text.
In Vietnam there are four major political pillars: its president, prime minister, the chief of its Communist Party and the national assembly chair. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 28/9/2018)