|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.
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.