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Cablegate: Vietnam's Nomination for S/Gwi Project Proposal 2010

VZCZCXRO2154
OO RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHPB
DE RUEHHI #0196/01 0430930
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 120929Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0948
INFO ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0516

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 HANOI 000196

SIPDIS
STATE FOR EAP/MLS, S/GWI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KWMN VM
SUBJECT: Vietnam's Nomination for S/GWI Project Proposal 2010

REF: 09 STATE 132094; 09 HANOI 1438

1. (SBU) Summary: Mission Vietnam is pleased to submit two
distinct project proposals for consideration by S/GWI as part of
the 2010 Small Grants Initiative (ref A). Domestic violence is a
serious problem in Vietnam - one that is of growing concern to the
Vietnamese government and public. The 2008 passage of a domestic
violence law was a watershed development that signals a willingness
by Vietnamese authorities to address the issue. Promoting the
rights of women and supporting efforts to protect women in
situations of domestic violence is a Mission priority that supports
overall U.S. policy goals for Vietnam and globally. Post is proud
to submit two small, yet highly effective Vietnamese NGOs committed
to raising awareness of domestic violence and protecting the rights
of women. We are confident these two projects, in conjunction with
Mission's on-going outreach activities, will make a difference in
Vietnam. End summary.

A LONGSTANDING ISSUE ONLY NOW ENTERING THE PUBLIC DEBATE

2. (SBU) According to a variety of international and Vietnamese
experts, domestic violence is widespread in Vietnam. A woman dies
from domestic violence every three days in Vietnam; 14 percent of
all murders in Vietnam are related to domestic violence, according
to the Ministry of Public Security. By the first quarter of 2006
this number exceeded 30 percent. The same report also stated that
more than 60 percent of divorces in 2005 were caused by domestic
violence. Many Vietnamese believe domestic violence to be a
private, family-related matter and it is rarely discussed in a
public setting, allowing the cycle of violence to continue. Due to
cultural perceptions that the role of Vietnamese women is to
maintain harmony in the home, domestic violence is kept secret and
women are taught by their peers and elders they must endure the
situation without recourse. Only recently has the issue appeared
publically. Meanwhile, the GVN has begun a campaign to address
domestic violence, passing a comprehensive law on domestic violence
prevention and control in 2007 that went into effect in 2008.

3. (SBU) Given the GVN's new activism on this issue, and in
keeping with our previous domestic violence outreach activities,
Mission Vietnam submits for consideration for S/GWI funding two
small, but highly effective Vietnamese NGOs who are working to
raise awareness and protect women faced with situations of
violence. Our first proposal would support rural women in Hau
Giang, a province in the remote southern Mekong Delta, by
increasing the knowledge of both men and women there about women's
rights through community education. This project will contribute
to empowering women within their families and their communities to
speak out against domestic violence. Funding this proposal
provides support to a Vietnamese NGO that has demonstrated great
resourcefulness and initiative to empower women within their own
community. The second proposal is designed to raise awareness of
gender-based violence among University students in Hanoi by
educating young people about the destructiveness and illegal nature
of domestic violence and equipping them for advocacy on the issue
following graduation. By focusing on university students, this
program hopes to educate the future women leaders of Vietnam.
Detailed proposals have been emailed to S/GWI's Wenchi Yu, who is
our office contact for Vietnam.

MEETING UNITED STATES POLICY OBJECTIVES

4. (SBU) Mission Vietnam already has undertaken several
initiatives to partner with local organizations, the GVN and INGOs
to raise awareness of the dangers of domestic violence to societies
worldwide. These initiatives include funding the United Nation's
Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) to assist Vietnamese law
enforcement and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute domestic
violence cases, partial funding of a ten part mini-series to raise
awareness about domestic violence (this series was broadcast on
national TV), presenting at NGO workshops on domestic violence as
well as an Embassy hosted round table discussion on domestic
violence (ref B). Both the executive and legislative branches of
government in the United States have made recent policy
pronouncements concerning the abhorrence of violence against women.
Secretary Clinton has been a strong advocate to end violence

HANOI 00000196 002 OF 004


against women. Throughout her travels she has called on "men and
women in every country - to work together to end these atrocities."
This month, the US Congress introduced a new bill entitled The
International Violence Against Women Act. This Act would, for the
first, time require the United States Government to address
violence against women globally through integrated strategies
across U.S. foreign policy and assistance programs. The two
proposals we recommend below are consistent with the Secretary's
larger policy goals of ending domestic violence and will complement
existing mission programs as well. They are targeted, low-cost
and, in our view, highly-effective initiatives to further the
Secretary's goal and our wider Mission objectives.

PROPOSAL ONE: Women's Rights and Gender Equality for Women in Rural
Areas

5. (SBU) Hau Giang Province is a poor, rural area in the Mekong
Delta near the bottom tip of Vietnam. Women's lives are restricted
by unequal relationships between men and women at home, in the
workplace, and in the community. In Hau Giang, women are expected
to play a subservient role. Many women suffer from domestic
violence in silence. Anh Duong Community and Development Center
(ACDC) is a Vietnamese NGO focusing on poverty-reduction and
community development in Hau Giang's poorest areas. Anh Duong's
staff is 100 percent Vietnamese and works with 15 local communes.
Anh Duong has a proven track record in the community and is well
regarded by women there as a result of its previous activities,
including: micro-credit loans to poor women, employment creation
for women, action-theatre to promote awareness about gender
equality, health education, and the promotion of inclusive
education. In 2009, ACDC reached 1,159 households in fifteen
localities. The NGO implements projects with local Vietnamese
partners and asks locals to contribute from 30 percent to 50
percent of the budget in order to encourage capacity building,
ownership and empowerment of the people in the community.

PROPOSAL ONE: ACTIVITIES, BUDGET AND TIME FRAME

6. (SBU) The main objective of the proposal is to empower rural
women in Hau Giang Province by increasing their knowledge about
their rights through community education; ACDC proposes holding a
series of "train the trainer" workshops focused on women's rights
for the Vietnamese Women's Union (VWU) in 15 project communes.
(Note: The VWU is a government sponsored NGO. In rural areas such
as Hau Giang, the VWU is the only resource for social services and
most women look to the VWU when assistance is needed. ACDC's
training will improve the quality of social services women
receive.) Additionally, every three months, as an advocacy part of
the program, ACDC will invite a lawyer, psychologist, and
sociologist to talk about subjects concerning women's rights. ACDC
will work with the Women's Unions to establish a women's "club" in
each commune, for the purpose of building networks of community
support for participants. (Note: The rural areas of Vietnam often
provide limited social services. The VWU and NGOs establish clubs
to help provide support to women, i.e. those suffering from
domestic violence. In these clubs women often learn about their
rights under the law and different recourses available to them.)
The women's clubs will also disseminate information on Vietnam's
laws on domestic violence and create greater awareness of the
issue. It is estimated that 450 village women will participate in
this project. Husbands of members of the women's groups will be
invited to participate in the training on women's rights creating a
holistic and sustainable approach to the project.

7. (SBU) The total estimated program cost is approximately $26,470
to be shared among the three different contributors:

S/GWI: $15,210

Anh Duong Center: $6,120

Donations of community members: $5,140

------------------

HANOI 00000196 003 OF 004


Project Total: $26,470

PROPOSAL TWO: Gender Based Violence Prevention - Awareness Raising,
Education and Advocacy for University Students

8. (SBU) The Global Village Foundation (GVF) is a Vietnamese NGO,
founded in 1999 by author and humanitarian Le Ly Hayslip, focusing
on sustainable community development projects emphasizing education
at the grassroots level. The organization, which has a
predominately Vietnamese staff, is based in the central city of Hoi
An, and works predominately with the rural communities of Quang Nam
province. GVF's current projects include a portable mobile
library, a dental health and education project, and a rural
infrastructure development project. Recognizing the impact
domestic violence has in Vietnam, GVF would like to expand its
focus to include advocating against domestic violence.

PROPOSAL TWO: ACTIVITIES, BUDGET AND TIME FRAME

9. (SBU) The "Stop Gender Based Violence" university program is
designed to create awareness of gender-based violence in young
adults and to create a new generation of advocates capable and
willing to educate others in their community about combating
domestic violence. Three Hanoi universities have been selected as
pilot schools for the first phase (lasting approximately one year)
of the program. Each university has an enrollment of approximately
5,000 to 7,000 students. The program, in partnership with the
Youth Union (another government sponsored NGO that addresses issues
facing young people in Vietnam) and the Women's Union, will
establish student-led clubs at the universities, with the support
of the faculty to create an institution-wide environment where
domestic violence is publicly acknowledged and discussed in and
outside of the classroom. The program will also use the university
setting as a venue to educate student participants on how to work
as advocates to address the issue of domestic violence.

10. (SBU) The total program cost would be approximately $73,217
as follows:

Program staff: $10,700

Stipends- club leaders and internships: $10,800

Training: $2,000

Travel: $1,800

Questionnaire/First assessment: $1,000

Website development: $3,000

Technical Equipment: $3,000

Meeting room rentals & refreshments: $2,160

Teaching materials for clubs/classrooms: $600

Phones and office expenses: $1,200

Honoraria/Guest speaker/travel: $8,000

LOGO Sales at Cost: $6,000

Annual conference/workshop: $6,000

Public education/media/press conf/kits: $6,000

Contingency: $3,113

Management and oversight: $7,844

------------------

Project total: $73,217

HANOI 00000196 004 OF 004


Total grant request from Post for two proposals: $99,687

CONCLUSION

11. (SBU) The World Bank lists Vietnam as one of the world's most
rapidly transforming countries, but some societal values remain
intractable, including those regarding the role of women. Mission
Vietnam's two proposals target women in different strata of
Vietnamese society in two distinct regions of the country. The
first proposal provides support to a local, grassroots community
that has demonstrated great resourcefulness and initiative to
educate women on their rights and combat this horrible crime within
their own community. The second initiative focuses on the future
of Vietnam. The acceptance of domestic violence, even among the
well educated, is high. By focusing outreach on university
students, this program hopes to educate the future leaders of
business, politics and society in Vietnam on both gender equality
and domestic violence. We recommend funding for both of these
projects, which we believe can promote the empowerment of women and
help Vietnam combat its domestic violence problem.

12. (U) Post action officer is Political Officer Audrey Moyer,

moyeraf@state.gov, +84 4 850 5407. Backup contact is Michael
Goldman, Deputy Political Officer, goldmanmb@state.gov, +84 4 850
5141.

13. (U) This cable was coordinated with U.S. Consulate General in
Ho Chi Minh City.
Palmer

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