Vietnam has first female president, but activists are unimpressed

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Vietnam has first female president, but activists are unimpressed

Source:

The Peninsula Qatar

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Vietnam’s appointment of its first female president belies a deep gender imbalance in the communist country’s politics and society and will do little to improve women’s rights, advocates said on Monday.

Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh was named acting president on Sunday following the death of Tran Dai Quang, a former chief of internal security appointed to the presidency in 2016.

“I think while Ngoc Thinh’s appointment is symbolically important, its wider significance is limited to some women who are Communist Party members,” said activist and dissident Do Nguyen Mai Khoi in an email.

“We should however remember that, as an unelected leader who is not accountable to the public, this appointment is not likely to improve conditions for most women in Vietnam.”

Vietnam ranked 61 out 193 countries in a survey last year of women’s participation in parliament conducted by the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union. The southeast Asian nation was ranked 166 for women in ministerial positions.

Vietnam’s National Assembly elected Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh as vice president in 2016. She was born in 1959 and holds a bachelor of law and a masters degree in party building, according to state media reports.

Click here to read the full article published by Thomson Reuters Foundation on 24 September 2018.

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