Violence and the threat of violence continue to constrain the rights of girls and women in many countries including Viet Nam. A recent study found that fifty-eight percent of women in Viet Nam experience emotional, physical or sexual domestic violence during their lifetime. Violence against women can include domestic violence, marital rape, trafficking in women and girls, violations of women’s reproductive rights and violations of human rights. Although the rate of violence against women in Viet Nam is grave, instances frequently go unrecognized and unpunished.

The Government of Viet Nam is committed to prioritizing ending violence against women, strengthening interventions and promoting gender equality across its institutions.  Even with this political will the path to real change is long and requires considerable expertise. Evidence-based, victim-centered programming and solutions are necessary to drive change and give women the life free of violence that they deserve.  

In 2012 ICCLR Senior Associate, Eileen Skinnider authored the Assessment of the Situation of Women in the Criminal Justice System in Viet Nam and a UN multi-country study that looked at the trial of rape in Viet Nam and other countries. Building on this work in 2015, Ms. Skinnider worked with the Ministry of Justice of Viet Nam and UN Women to support a review of the Viet Nam Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code using a gendered lens. Following these projects, the Vietnamese Government made several changes to the Penal Code that have the potential to positively affect women. The Ministry of Justice also continued to work with Ms. Skinnider to develop a women’s justice perception study with a focus on ensuring better enforcement of criminal laws to improve access to justice by women subjected to violence.

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