International Forum: “Forum of Female Leaders of Lower Mekong Initiative”: active and effective

During 12th-14th of December 2016, ULIS – VNU in collaboration with the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) has organized an international workshop, “Forum of female leaders of LMI”, with the support of the U.S Embassy in Vietnam. This workshop was developed based on the suggestion of the Committee for the Advancement of Women.
Attending the workshop were approximately 70 representatives and, reporters who are female leaders of various fields such as education, business, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), health and human services from 5 Lower Mekong countries including Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The workshop also witnessed the participation of 9 English lecturers of the US Embassy.
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The opening ceremony was held on the morning of 12th, Dec 2016 with the appearance of Vietnamese and American guests: Mrs. Susan Sutton – Deputy Ambassador of the U.S in Vietnam; Mrs. Diane Millas – Director of regional program of English; Mrs Nguyen Thi Tuyet – Vice President of the Vietnam Women’s Union; Mr. Pham Tat Thang – Parliament’s Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Culture, Education, Youth, and Children; People’s Artist Le Khanh – Deputy Director of the Youth Theatre; Ms. Nguyen Thuy Hong – Deputy Director of teachers, Ministry of Education and Training; Mrs. Pham Thu Hien – Deputy Director of Institute for Gender and Women’s Leadership.
The representatives of ULIS were, President Do Tuan Minh, Vice-President/Head for the Advancement of Women Ngo Minh Thuy, Vice-President Nguyen Xuan Long, members of the Workshop Organization Board and the Board for the Advancement of Women and female leaders of various units. The workshop was also attended by Professor Nguyen Hoa – former President, Associate Professor Nguyen Lan Trung – former Vice-President/ former Head of the Board for the Advancement of Women.
Making an opening remark at the Forum, Ms. Susan Sutton – Deputy Ambassador of the U.S in Vietnam – appreciated efforts of all the organizations and related agencies for the development of women and girls. At the same time, she stated that currently there had been many things to do for women and girls, especially in the field of education. She also affirmed the US commitment to provide girls and women with the best conditions. She stressed that women should be supported to participate in all sections of society.

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On behalf of ULIS, Vice-President Thuy had a speech at the opening ceremony and emphasized women’s role in society and women’s development issues.

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During 3 days of the forum, the representatives focused on different issues, such as raising the status and opportunities for the women in the Lower Mekong Region, supporting women in university environment, promoting women’s development and success in career, building self-confidence to succeed, empowering women’s leadership, encouraging the participation of men in the “battle” for women’s progress, planning strategies for overcoming gender discrimination and seeking career opportunities in the region.

Moreover, the participants discussed and shared their own ideas, expressed the difficulties and practical experiences, showed their targets and plans for self-development. Particularly, through group activities, the participants had the chance to connect and know about one another, establishing strong ties in the future.
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After working actively and effectively for 3 days, “Women’s Leadership Forum of LMI” has closed, leaving a good impression of the organization with international standard of ULIS. After the program, the delegates expressed the satisfaction with the discussing content and appreciated the preparation and professionalism of the Committee of Organization. The US Embassy officials as well as the officials directly related to the organizing team also highly appreciated the work of arranging this event, mentioning that this was one of the very successful forums held professionally that they had ever attended. US Embassy then expressed their hope to continue cooperating with ULIS in the activities for promoting women’s progress in particular and the activities related to culture-education in general.
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