Hanoi (VNA) – Supporting women in economic development as a direct tool to address gender inequality is the perspective and goal that the Social Policy Bank and the Vietnam Women’s Union pursue through the implementation of social policy credit programs in over the years.
When women “roll up their sleeves” to do business
Coming to Lai Chau, stories of ethnic minority women “rolling up their sleeves” and working with their husbands to develop the family economy are not uncommon. One example is La Thi Nhung’s family in Dong Phong village, Then Sin commune, Tam Duong district. In the past, even though the couple worked hard, their annual income was still not enough to make ends meet.
In 2018, Nhung made a bold decision. She followed the advice of the head of the savings group and the commune’s women’s union to take out a VND 50 million loan from the Social Policy Bank to invest in a grocery store serving the villagers.
Nhung then expanded her store and sold more types of merchandise. His family’s income has also increased accordingly, reaching an average of 100 million VND/year.
With the support of social political capital, many ethnic minority women in Lai Chau have boldly changed their cultivation patterns, applying new economic models towards clean products, safety and environmental protection, with high added value. .
Making full use of political capital
According to the Lai Chau Provincial Women’s Union, currently the association operates nearly 400 savings and loan groups for 12,590 households with total outstanding loans at the branch of Social Policy Bank in Lai Chau province reaching nearly 700 billion VND. Political capital was promoted in the “Women helping each other for economic development and sustainable poverty reduction” movement, in the period 2016-2020, which helped more than 500 households out of poverty, contributing to reduce the overall poverty rate in the country. province by almost 4.78% per year. The material and spiritual life of the members has been improved, contributing to the general economic development of the province.
Not only in Lai Chau, the flow of political capital through the Women’s Union at all levels also “permeates” the life of urban areas to remote areas, islands, etc., gradually improving the position of women in the family and in society.
The quality of social policy credit is steadily improving. Every year, 100% of women’s unions at all levels draw up inspection and supervision plans in accordance with the regulations. In addition, the association has also cooperated with the Social Policy Bank to organize capacity building training courses on client assessment process, capital management and banking procedures. In 2021 alone, 2,400 training courses were held, attended by more than 75,000 savings and loans group members and leaders.
The results of this effort are evident in the results of the association’s activities. As of December 31, 2021, the outstanding balance of entrusted loans granted through the Women’s Union reached VND 93.991 billion, or 38.41% of the total balance of entrusted loans, an increase of VND 7.040 billion. VND compared to the end of 2020. Overdue debt is also the lowest, representing only 0.19% of frozen debt accounts for 0.36% of total loans entrusted.
There are 62,852 savings and loan groups run by the Women’s Union, which has helped bring political capital to 2.4 million clients. In addition, 99.99% of savings and loans groups have members participating in savings deposits with a balance of VND 6.16 trillion, up VND 768 billion from 2020.
The Women’s Union will continue to focus on advising the competent authorities to promulgate, modify and supplement the mechanisms and policies related to social policy credit in accordance with the requirements of socio-economic development and implement target national programs for the period. 2021-2025. The association also continues to coordinate with authorities at all levels, relevant agencies and units to effectively integrate social policy credit into local socio-economic development models, programs and projects.
In addition, the association also actively participates in scientific and technological transfer activities as well as programs in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fishing, salt production, vocational training, commercialization of products, construction and duplication of typical production and business models to help borrowers use capital efficiently, create new jobs, increase incomes, contribute to the success of the implementation of national target programs and ensuring social security./.