Vietnamese women have inner strength

  • Ms Anita Afford , Gender Development Advisor, shared her story about the time working at Cultural Identity and Resources Use Management (CIRUM).

    As Gender Development Advisor for a local NGO, Cultural Identity and Resources Use Management, CIRUM, I am working with local staff to ensure women, especially ethnic minority women, are equally included and benefit from the programs that CIRUM implement.

    Anita and her colleagues doing interview with ethic minority woman

    CIRUM works with forest-living people to ensure they have information regarding their rights to their land, help them achieve forest and land ownership, assist with sustainable land use management and work closely with government to ensure changes to law and policy in ethnic minority peoples favour. For CIRUM, it is essential that women are involved in the lobbying, advocacy and decision making regarding their and their families’ land.

    Gender training in Simacai

    My greatest achievement in this role has been working with LISO alliance staff, rural women and their families to develop gender awareness training material specifically about and for ethnic minority communities. This has included producing two documentary films about the barriers to women’s participation in leadership roles. The aim was to capture and document real stories from rural and ethnic minority women in order to fully understand the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them. We also captured the supportive role that men have played and need to play to assist in women’s empowerment.

    Mrs Hoa, the Director of CIRUM, and Anita in the forest

    From my experiences working with Vietnamese women I see that they have an inner strength and an ability to get on with the job. I have been fortunate to work with many women and to have an inspirational woman as my boss. Mrs. Hoa is the Director of CIRUM and has been working with ethnic minority women for 20 years. I have learnt persistence and patience from her, and been inspired by her commitment and vision.

    For more information on CIRUM or to view the gender documentaries please visit CIRUM website:

    (Source: Australia in Vietnam)