Game changing women in Vietnam:
Vietnam’s history is certainly not lacking in the strong, iconic women department. From the Hai Ba Trung sisters, military leaders who successfully led a rebellion against Chinese oppressors on the back of elephants in 40 AD, to Vo Thi Sau, a young revolutionary who fought against the French colonialists and was executed in 1952 before she turned 18… Vietnamese women have never been afraid to step up to injustice and for causes they hold true.
Hong Hoang – environmental and wildlife warrior:
Fast forward to 2021. Vietnamese women continue to blaze trails and grow in influence with their single-minded determination. Case in point – Hong Hoang. In 1997, the 24-year-old was among a group of 35 young people selected to travel to Antarctica on an environmental education mission. Consequently, Hong was also the first person from Vietnam to visit the world’s southernmost continent. It was a life-changing event, igniting within her a passion for environmental protection.
NGO Change VN:
In 2013, Hong established a local NGO, Change VN (https://changevn.org/), an acronym for Centre of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment. Hong is passionate about helping to bring about change through creative campaigns that educate individuals, leading to a reduced environmental footprint.
Change VN is described as one of the largest environmental movements in Vietnam. Its work today covers three main areas: climate change, wildlife and sustainability. Only last week, she spoke at the 2021 Annual Conference of World Bank and International Monetary Fund. In Making Climate Action Count: Turning Ambition into Reality, Hong spoke briefly about some of the environmental issues recently experienced in Vietnam. This included the 2020 drought and salinity intrusion in the Mekong Delta, the rice bowl of Vietnam, as well as the back-to-back flooding and typhoons in Central Vietnam. She spoke of her vision of working with young people to assist them in implementing plans for change within their own communities. She also noted the importance of community action, which is being led by young people, and the importance of it being supported by everyone.
Like so many women in Vietnam, Hong is humble yet determined, and we are grateful to women like her who continue to fight the good fight to bring around change.
Vietnamese Women’s Day:
On 20 October 1930, the women of Vietnam united to create an organisation which later became known as the Vietnam Women’s Union. Vietnamese Women’s Day is celebrated each year on the founding date of the VWU. Recognising the economic and political achievements made by women in this country, the day also celebrates
the important roles women have and continue to play in Vietnam. Furthermore, it serves as a day to raise awareness of issues faced by Vietnamese women including discrimination, gender inequality, sexual harassment and violence.
Links and information:
Climate Heroes: https://climateheroes.org/hong-hoang-change-in-vietnam/
Vietnamese Women in 2021: Inspiring, Empowered, Influential: https://vietcetera.com/en/vietnamese-women-in-2021-inspiring-empowered-influential
NGO, Change VN website: https://changevn.org/
World Bank 2021 Annual Meetings – Making Climate Action Count (you can see Hong Hoang speak at around 23:40 minutes): https://live.worldbank.org/making-climate-action-count?intcid=ecr_e_wblreminder_en_ext-24hr
Vietnam Women’s Day: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Vietnam
Photo of Hong Hoang via www.mekongeye.com.