Women and Innovation 2013

The Exhibition “Women and Innovation 2013” was opened this morning (Oct. 1, 2013) at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum (36 Lý Thường Kiệt St., Hanoi). The exhibition under the theme “Empowering women and building their economic capacity” is jointly organized by the Vietnam Women’s Union, the World Bank, and UN Women.

Present at the opening ceremony were Ms. Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hoà, member of the Party Central Committee, President of the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) and Vice Presidents of VWU; Ms. Nguyễn Thị Nghĩa, Deputy Minister of Education and Training; Ms. Nguyễn Thị Thu Hồng, Vice President of Vietnam General Confederation of Labour; representatives of ministries, central agencies and mass organizations; Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director of the World Bank Vietnam; Ms. Shoko Ishikawa, Chief Representative of UN Women Vietnam; representatives of the donors of the “Women and Innovation 2013”: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Irish Aid, Unilever Vietnam, and Deloitte; representatives of some embassies and international organizations in Vietnam; delegates who are outstanding women in economics; and collectives and individuals who are authors of innovative ideas and products displayed at the Exhibition Women and Innovation 2013.

After six months since its launch, Women and Innovation 2013 has received 219 innovative ideas and 130 research projects and innovative products by women from 57 provinces, cities, and agencies. This is the fruit of the persistent labor and continuous innovation of women toward improving the quality of life for poor and disadvantaged women, ethnic minority women, and vulnerable women, contributing to sustainable poverty reduction. Many innovative ideas are of practical significance and highly applicable in reality such as support to poor women and women with disabilities to improve their sustainable income through mushroom growing; the improved stove for H’Mong women; the village savings and credit model for Van Kieu and Pako ethnic minority women. With the skillful hands and innovative minds of ordinary women, many new products not only are of economic value but also contribute to mitigating environmental pollution. They have been produced from scraps (timber odds and ends, old newspapers, scraps of fabrics and dried pine fruits). Many research projects have created high-yield and pest-resistant varieties that have been successfully applied in reality.


Women and Innovation 2013 is a chance for the Vietnam Women’s Union to display, honour and introduce to the public 38 most outstanding research projects and products by women. They are innovative products selected from 130 entries and best ideas selected from 30 innovative ideas qualified for the final round to be funded for their realization. The event is also a forum for women from different regions and localities to share their innovative ideas and products among themselves and with policy makers and international friends.


opening speech, VWU President Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hoà highly appreciated innovative ideas and products – entries to the Exhibition “Women and Innovation 2013”. She said: “Women have created products which are not only of high economic value but also of great social and human significance, with valuable messages such as improving crop yield, quality, and efficiency, for community health, for green environment and improving and promoting the quality of life. Each innovative idea, research project, and the product has its own story connected to a collective or individual, showing the spirit of persistence and passion for innovation”. The VWU President acknowledged the creativity and innovation of Vietnamese women saying: “These achievements show the great aspiration, the rich innovative potential and the positive response of Vietnamese women of all strata to this innovative activity. Women’s success further confirms our confidence in their talent and innovation and in the achievement of the goal of gender equality and the advancement of Vietnamese women”. Ms. Hoà also expressed the desire to see women being further motivated in the spirit of innovation in their lives, labor, and learning. She reminded the Women’s Union at all levels to fulfill their tasks by making recommendations and advice to the Party and Government to adopt policies and programs that create equal opportunities for women to develop their role in economics and a playground for innovation and creativity of Vietnamese women of all strata.

On behalf of the Presidium of the Vietnam Women’ Union, VWU President Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hoà acknowledged and highly appreciated the effective cooperation of the co-organizers – the World Bank and UN Women and the assistance of the donors. She also expressed the desire to receive further close and effective cooperation.

In her speech on behalf of the co-organizers, Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director of the World Bank highly appreciated the organization of the event on the occasion of the 83rd anniversary of the Vietnam Women’s Union. She expressed WB honor to co-organize the Exhibition “Women and Innovation 2013”. Ms. Victoria Kwakwa said that she believed the Exhibition will honor, encourage, and promote the innovation of women and contribute to empowering women and building their economic capacity. She hoped that the innovative products by women will soon be applied in reality, bringing practical benefits to women to help them get rid of poverty and enjoy a stable and happy life.

For her part, Ms. Shoko Ishikawa, Chief Representative of UN Women Vietnam expressed her desire to work more closely with the Vietnam Women’s Union to promote gender equality for Vietnamese women and narrow the gender gap in occupation, wages, and promotion and help women improve their lives. She said that for UN Women, this event is evidence for changes toward a better life for women.

On this occasion, the Presidium of the Vietnam Women’s Union presented certificates of merit to individuals and collectives – authors of 38 innovative products displayed at the Exhibition “Women and Innovation 2013”.