Wednesday, January 13, 2016


President Mr. Tran Quang Tien of Vietnam Women's Academy
 and Professor  Mr. Kent Wong of the UCLA Labor Center,
our co-chairs for the meeting. 
On Monday afternoon, 11-1-2016, the US Labor Delegation organized by Kent Wong visited the Women's Academy for a very lively and friendly discussion about the Academy, the Vietnam Women's Union and chat about active women and feminists: the same  or different in the USA. The delegation totaled 13 labor leaders and in a future blog we will present all the names as well as the names of our Vietnam friends who were present.  Mr. President Tran Quang Tien of the VWA and Mr. Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Labor Center co-chaired the meeting in expert fashion assuring everyone a chance to be recognized, ask questions or comment on points.  For many of the delegation this was their first time in Vietnam and they relished the chance to ask questions, learn from their hosts and giver their opinions and speak to their experience in labor and gender issues.

 In short, the discussion was free ranging and as someone commented it was a joy to trade information and learn from each other on important issues for Vietnam, the USA and the World.

Professor Duong the Dean of the Gender and Development Faculty, clarifies and answers questions on women's issues
in Vietnam and on her department and its research. Lecturer,
Ms  Giang on the left interpreted when necessary and helped
the visiting labor instructors.

The discussion was wide ranging covering some history of the Women's Union - VWU, organized in 1930, and a strong player in the successful struggle for national independence and, too, the history of the  Academy referred to also as the VWA.  Here is a link to the history of the VWA:

The VWA was founded by the VWU in 1960 during the intensity of the American war [For those unaware, the US war effort in VN began years before 1963.] to educate and train women in a variety of work in government and social affairs. [FYI: if the writer is wrong on points it is not by intention but hearing difficulties sometimes make it hard to get things perfectly on point.]  Since that time the Academy has brought education and skills to thousands of government workers as well as the staff of the Women's Union and other organizations and continues to do so with its expanded and expanding programs of education.  Just this past September two new departments were added to the educational work: 1.Law and 2.Gender and Development to join the existing faculties of  3.Social Work and 4.Business Administration.  There are about 1000 students served at this campus with many living in a dormitory and others who commute to their studies.  Besides the educational work at the campus the faculty also travels to widespread local sites where they conduct seminars and training for women's organizations including local membership organizations of the Women's Union.  FOR CLARIFICATION: THE WOMEN'S UNION IS NOT A TRADE OR LABOR UNION BUT A VERY STRONG AND CAPABLE ORGANIZATION THAT BRINGS AND KEEPS WOMEN'S ISSUES ON THE AGENDA OF THE NATION.  As a member of the Fatherland Front the WU is a perpetual participant in the deliberations of policy for the nation and can and does bring woman centered policy proposals forward to benefit national development and women's place in society.  It was explained that the WU has organizations in villages, communes, provincial and city governments and of course there is the national organization.  The Vietnam Constitution guarantees the equal rights and status of women and the WU is the organization that sees that the role of women is maintained and develops.

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