APHEDA People: Meet Hoang Thi Ngan
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is about people – people working together to make things better for all. As the global justice organisation of the Australian union movement, each and every APHEDA supporter, member, partner, activist and participant here in Australia and all around the world contributes to the work it takes to tackle inequality and injustice. This month we speak to Hoang Thi Ngan, Deputy President of the Bac Kan Women’s Union. Ms. Ngan is a member of the Tay ethnic minority, living in the mountainous region of northeast Vietnam. Bac Kan Province is one of the poorest in Vietnam.
How long have you been working for the Bac Kan Women’s Union and what is your role?
I have been working for the Bac Kan Women Union for 20 years. As a Women’s Union official I spend a lot of time communicating decisions, explaining government policies to members and protecting the rights and interest of women and children.
Why is being union important to you?
Women workers are women’s union members. Supporting women workers is part of the mission of the Bac Kan Women’s Union and is a core part of my role as a Women’s Union official. Being union is looking after women workers.
What does it mean to be APHEDA to you?
Union Aid Abroad APHEDA has been supporting the Bac Kan Women’s Union for many years and through different projects. Thanks to that support, the Bac Kan Women’s Union has been able to organise many activities to support women in areas such as vocational training, HIV/AIDS prevention, healthcare, domestic violence prevention and support for women candidates and women members of the People’s Council (read more about this project). I have personally participated and organised many project activities, so my capacity has improved considerably through our work with APHEDA.
What parts of your work are you most proud of? Why?
Through my role at the Bac Kan Women’s Union, I am able to do many things to support women in Bac Kan province in a hands-on way. This includes providing knowledge, skills and training on economic development and in other areas such as how to establish happy families and building the capacity of women leaders. These activities are both creative and effective.
What do you see as the work that is most important for the Bac Kan Women’s Union to focus on into the future?
The Vietnamese National Women’s Congress has set out three main goals; all of them important. However, due to the differing situation in each province, especially in the case of a poor province like Bac Kan, we need to concentrate our efforts and attention on supporting women to develop their economy focusing on developing models of collective economy (cooperation groups, cooperatives), startups, skills training for staff and members as well as prevention of gender-based violence.
Why is it important for Australian unionists to support Union Aid Abroad APHEDA?
Bac Kan Province faces difficulties in its economic development and has a low level of resources. As a result, the Bac Kan Women’s Unions activities and women in Bac Kan province are also facing difficulties. Trade unionists in Australia, through Union Aid Abroad APHEDA, currently contribute a great deal to help support capacity building projects for the Bac Kan Women’s Union. Over time, our staff have improved their leadership and decision-making skills, and the position of the Bac Kan Women’s Union in the provincial government, as well as the Central Women’s Union, has also greatly improved. This has had wider benefits for the role of women in the family and society in Bac Kan province. Supporting Union Aid Abroad APHEDA helps us continue to support vital projects for women in northeast Vietnam.
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