Gender issues in the poverty reduction in mountainous areas of Thai Nguyen

Vấn đề giới có quan hệ mật thiết với nghèo đói và phát triển. Các báo cáo thường niên về phát triển con người cho thấy các tỉnh nghèo đồng thời cũng là các tỉnh có chỉ số phát triển con người và chỉ số phát triển giới thấp. Nghèo đói và bất bình đẳng là yếu tố chính kìm hãm sự phát triển miền núi Thái Nguyên hiện nay. Hai vấn đề này có mối liên hệ qua lại làm cho những khó khăn ở miền núi thêm trầm trọng và không dễ khắc phục trong thời gian ngắn. Vì lẽ đó, bên cạnh những cải thiện về nhiều mặt thì công tác xoá đói giảm nghèo ở miền núi, đặc biệt đối với vùng cao, vùng dân tộc thiểu số Thái Nguyên còn gặp nhiều khó khăn. Trong bối cảnh này, thực hiện các biện pháp xoá đói giảm nghèo có kết hợp nâng cao bình đẳng giới là hướng đi hợp lý nhất để giảm nghèo hiệu quả và bền vững. Các giải pháp này nhằm đảm bảo tính đồng bộ và hệ thống trên cơ sở mở rộng cơ hội, khả năng tiếp cận dịch vụ, giảm rủi ro và tạo quyền cho phụ nữ.

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Phí Hùng Cường và đtg Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 81(05): 79 - 83 79 GENDER ISSUES IN THE POVERTY REDUCTION IN MOUNTAINOUS AREAS OF THAI NGUYEN Phi Hung Cuong1*, Vu Van Anh2 1 College of Sciences - TNU, 2College of Education - TNU SUMMARY Gender issues are closely related to poverty and development. The annual reports on human development show that the poor provinces have low human development index and gender development index The given issues show that poverty and inequality are major factors hindering the development of mountainous Thai Nguyen today. These two issues have the corelation that makes difficulties in mountainous areas more serious and it is not easy to overcome in a short time. Therefore, besides improvements in many aspects, the work of poverty reduction in mountainous areas, especially in highlands, ethnic minority areas of Thai Nguyen is in difficulties. In this context, implementing methods of poverty reduction and combined gender equality improvement is an actually reasonable way to reduce poverty effectively and sustainably. The solution is to ensure synchronization and system on the basis of expansion of opportunities, access to services, risk reduction and right creation for women. Keyword: Gender, poverty reduction, poverty, mountainous, ThaiNguyen INTRODUCTION* Gender issues are closely related to poverty and development. The annual reports on human development show that the poor provinces have low human development index and gender development index. So is it possible that improving gender equality will also contribute to poverty alleviation for the people? The article refers to the relationship between gender and poverty, and propose methods for reducing poverty and improving gender equality in midland and mountainous provinces such as Thai Nguyen. . CONTENT 2.1. Poverty in Thai Nguyen. Poverty and inequality between rich and poor is a hot socio-economic issue today. It is a big drag on the way to construct and develop Thai Nguyen province according to orientation of socialism in Vietnam. The province has 36 extremely difficult communes where the Government and the province have carried out the project for the socio- economic development in difficult communes in mountainous or remoted areas (Programme 135). Provincal People’s * Tel: 0915210558; Email: phihungcuongtn@yahoo.com Committee has developed projects for the socio-economic development for 36 extremely difficult communes of three districts: Vo Nhai, Dinh Hoa and Phu Luong. These districts have difficult natural conditions for the socio-economic development. Table 2.1. Poverty rate by province in 2007 in Thai Nguyen No. Districts Poverty rate (%) 1 Dinh Hoa 34.06 2 Dai Tu 23.66 3 Dong Hy 20:55 4 Phu Luong 26.61 5 Vo Nhai 41.09 6 Phu Binh 24.22 7 Pho Yen 18:47 8 Song Cong 13.90 9 Thai Nguyen 5:59 Source: Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs in Thai Nguyen province In fact, although poverty alleviation has gained good results but problems related to the relationship between poverty reduction and sustainable use of resources in mountainous Thai Nguyen is still a matter of urgency. This is also a challenge for Central policy makers and local managers. Số hóa bởi Trung tâm Học liệu - Đại học Thái Nguyên Phí Hùng Cường và đtg Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 81(05): 79 - 83 80 Poverty reduction and sustainable management of natural resources requires the participation and joint efforts of women, men and authorities. This is especially important with the mountainous area as Thai Nguyen, where ethnic communities reside alternately, where ethnic minorities have their own concepts and habits in dealing with natural resources. For women, participating in the authorities, unions is an important mechanism to reflect the wills and aspirations of their gender in activities of poverty reduction and resource use in each locality. However, in mountainous Thai Nguyen, the participation rate of women leaders at grassroots level is very low, the operation of the association of women also face difficulties. Therefore, to create conditions for women, particularly women of ethnic minority to participate in issues of sustainable management of natural resources and poverty reduction is also a challenge in mountainous province as Thai Nguyen. 2.2. The relationship between gender and poverty Gender: is all the characteristics of society and culture related to men and women. These features differ in different societies and change over time. There are different trends when discussing on the relationship between gender and poverty. The first trend accepts the differences between men and women in poverty and the opportunity to escape poverty, as this is natural matter without justification and without change. This concept indicates that the difference between men and women is regulated by the nature (biological factors) so if women are weaker, poorer than men, it is understandable. The second trend do not acknowledge differences between men and women, but they are the same in poverty. Both men or and women will need the same supports and solutions to escape poverty. This concept shows that poverty is not related to gender. The third trend indicates that gender does not determine the capacity or the poverty level of men, women. On the contrary, the social factors affect the position, role and improvement of women and men. This concept also indicates that a low social position is a factor that raises risk and leads to poverty. Actually, the relationship between gender and poverty can be considered on three main aspects of production, reproduction and correlation between the two genders today. On the aspect of production, this relationship is demonstrated in the structure of labor in the national economic sectors in which women workers constitute the most. Table 2.2. Male and female laborers classified by economic sector in Thai Nguyen in 2007 (Unit: person) No. Economic category Male Female 2005 2007 2005 2007 1 Agriculture, forestry and fisheries 209,587 208,540 207,206 203,898 2 Industry, construction, .. 48,624 58,385 37,455 37,052 3 Production, distribution of electricity, water 2,110 3,045 769 1,289 4 Trade, repair of cars .. 24,889 30,265 21,198 24,028 5 Sevices, employment 5,197 8,344 9,105 11,045 6 Information, banks ... 909 1,590 1,113 1,905 7 Scienctific special subjects .. 1,894 2,160 991 1,145 8 Party activities, Politic organizations 15,065 16,657 22,435 24,333 9 Total 308,275 328,986 300,272 304,695 Source: Statistical Office of Thai Nguyen 2007 Số hóa bởi Trung tâm Học liệu - Đại học Thái Nguyên Phí Hùng Cường và đtg Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 81(05): 79 - 83 81 Women participate more in agricultural production while men are hired labors. Thus, women have a lot of difficulties to escape poverty owing to the risky characteristic of agricultural production, especially in mountainous areas where natural conditions are not favorable for food crops. On the aspect of reproduction, women have a direct role in developing and maintaining race. This is related to the role of mothers. The studies concluded that: education of women has a positive impact to the birth rate reduction, mothers who finish a primary school has a lower birth rate than illiterate mothers. Education of mothers has a positive impact in reducing the rate of malnutrition in children under the age of 5, increasing numbers of school years of children. Also, when considering the viewpoint of care and nurture, women with education and health have conditions to take care of family members better, and more scientificaly. Clearly, if the society invests more actively in improving education and health of women, it means to invest in human development - a decisive factor for the sustainable development of each locality. On the third aspect: considering the correlation between the two genders today, poverty and ability to escape poverty of each gender are different because each is affected by the work they do, the location, the voice of each gender in the family, community as well as the access and management of women and men with the material and spiritual rsources. Clearly, poverty is a especially vicious cycle for women and girls in the mountainous provinces such as Thai Nguyen. But to break this vicious cycle, if you just focus on women and girls, and forget the role of men, it will be hard to get a sustainable poverty reduction. In fact, in many localities, husbands and fathers have certain voice and positions in implementing family planning. In short, if the gender correlation changes positively on the basis of attracting men and creating conditions for them to change behaviors, actively discussing and making equal decisions in the family and community in order to benefit both women and men in aspects such as division of labor, allocation of resources, beneficiary interests, etc, the poverty reduction activities will be increasingly sustainable. Figure 2.1. Poverty circle of women and girls 2.3 Some comments and recommendations For the mountainous areas in general and Thai Nguyen in particular, jobs in the labor market are still generally uncertain, with low income and much risk although jobs have been more extended than before. Poverty assessment study with the participation of the people showed that most manual labors depend on seasonal crops; they can be refused to pay the salaries/wages by the foremen, or they have to work overwhelmedly and face accidents, etc. The average amount of money the workers get is 15,000 dongs per day; women always get the lower rate than men (DFID and Consulting Ageles 2003). Methods for creating job stability, assuring working conditions and being guranteed by the law offices need to be implemented for both women and men in mountainous areas. In agricultural production, access to services of agricultural expansion encouragement and credits is an important condition to expand production. Poor women and men generally have less access to the argricultural extension services. The fact that women work and men Get married early Much Reproduction Bad health Frequent illness Lack of labor Poverty Low educatio n Số hóa bởi Trung tâm Học liệu - Đại học Thái Nguyên Phí Hùng Cường và đtg Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 81(05): 79 - 83 82 study is common in many areas throughout the country. Although women occupy mainly in agricultural production, including both cultivation and breeding, the rate in which women participate in cultivation training sessions only occupies 25%, in breeding training sessions 10%. Effective land use and management is a necessary condition for the poor to have a stable life and strive to escape poverty. For the land management, being granted the certificate to receive the right of land use is important. In fact, until now, the undersigned women for the certificate have occupied a low rate among granted certificates of land use right. Especially, the rate of certificates names the wife and husband is too low. This is common to all types of land, including annual arable land, tree planting land and forest land. Notably, the group of poor women has few conditions to control soil. The percentage of women signing the certificate of land use rights in the group of poorest households is 5- 7% of the total number of certificates already issued for soils. For mountainous areas, forest land has a significant meaning, but only 5% of wives and 2% of spouses sign the certificate of forest land use rights; this is clearly the condition that resource managers and the authorities should be particularly interested in. Strengthening the participation of women, especially women in highlands, women of ethnic minorities in the discussions and decisions on matters of economy, society poverty reduction is an urgent demand nowadays . The specific methods of concern include giving information on poverty reduction activities in a timely manner and appropriate language and form for women, supporing the activities of unions, especially the activities of the Women's Union in the difficult areas, training of the young women to become officers in the localities. In short, poverty and gender inequality, particularly in mountainous and remoted areas in Thai Nguyen is the general result of complicated and mixed social factors. The solutions set out need to take inclusiveness. CONCLUSIONS The given issues show that poverty and inequality are major factors hindering the development of mountainous Thai Nguyen today. These two issues have the corelation that makes difficulties in mountainous areas more serious and it is not easy to overcome in a short time. Therefore, besides improvements in many aspects, the work of poverty reduction in mountainous areas, especially in highlands, ethnic minority areas of Thai Nguyen is in difficulties. In this context, implementing methods of poverty reduction and combined gender equality improvement is an actually reasonable way to reduce poverty effectively and sustainably. The solution is to ensure synchronization and system on the basis of expansion of opportunities, access to services, risk reduction and right creation for women. To do this, then all levels and sectors need special attention to the poor women in general, including women and girls of ethnic minorities, women and disadvantaged areas, and women who are the head of household because they are easily vulnerable objects. Sectors, especially agriculture and rual development, education, health and localities first of all Party Committees, governments and unions at the grassroots level need to create conditions for raising awareness and changes of actions to ensure that poor women to participate and benefit as equally as men in poverty reduction from the results of the development process in general in each locality. REFERENCE [1]. DFID and UNDP 2003. Poverty Reduction in Northern Mountainous Areas (in Vietnamese). [2]. The General Statistics Office.2006. Results of Standard of Living of Households in 2006. Some Main Results (in Vietnamese). [3]. National Committee for the Advancement of Women in 2000. Situation Analysis and Policy Recommendations on Gender Equality and Advancement of Women (in Vietnamese). [4]. Tran Thi Van Anh, Gender in poverty alleviation and Development in mountainous areas, Journal of women, Vol. 5, 2004 (in Vietnamese). [5]. Truong Thi Thuy Hang, Research in Human Development Index reflecting genders in some localities, Journal of women, Vol.1, 2005 (in Vietnamese). Số hóa bởi Trung tâm Học liệu - Đại học Thái Nguyên Phí Hùng Cường Tạp chí KHOA HỌC & CÔNG NGHỆ 81(05): 79 - 83 83 TÓM TẮT VẤN ĐỀ GIỚI TRONG XOÁ ĐÓI GIẢM NGHÈO Ở MIỀN NÚI THÁI NGUYÊN Phí Hùng Cường1*, Vũ Vân Anh2 1 Trường ĐH Khoa học - ĐH Thái Nguyên, 2Trường ĐH Sư phạm - ĐH Thái Nguyên Vấn đề giới có quan hệ mật thiết với nghèo đói và phát triển. Các báo cáo thường niên về phát triển con người cho thấy các tỉnh nghèo đồng thời cũng là các tỉnh có chỉ số phát triển con người và chỉ số phát triển giới thấp. Nghèo đói và bất bình đẳng là yếu tố chính kìm hãm sự phát triển miền núi Thái Nguyên hiện nay. Hai vấn đề này có mối liên hệ qua lại làm cho những khó khăn ở miền núi thêm trầm trọng và không dễ khắc phục trong thời gian ngắn. Vì lẽ đó, bên cạnh những cải thiện về nhiều mặt thì công tác xoá đói giảm nghèo ở miền núi, đặc biệt đối với vùng cao, vùng dân tộc thiểu số Thái Nguyên còn gặp nhiều khó khăn. Trong bối cảnh này, thực hiện các biện pháp xoá đói giảm nghèo có kết hợp nâng cao bình đẳng giới là hướng đi hợp lý nhất để giảm nghèo hiệu quả và bền vững. Các giải pháp này nhằm đảm bảo tính đồng bộ và hệ thống trên cơ sở mở rộng cơ hội, khả năng tiếp cận dịch vụ, giảm rủi ro và tạo quyền cho phụ nữ. Từ khóa: giới, xóa đói giảm nghèo, đói nghèo, miền núi, Thái Nguyên * Tel: 0915210558; Email: phihungcuongtn@yahoo.com Số hóa bởi Trung tâm Học liệu - Đại học Thái Nguyên

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