Gender Responsive Schools in Vietnam

Gender-based violence in and around schools is highly prevalent in Vietnam and is one of the main barriers to girls’ empowerment and gender equality. Zonta International has committed US$644,000 to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women to support Plan Vietnam, a UN Trust Fund grantee, in creating a school environment for adolescent girls and boys across Hanoi that is free from gender-based violence.

Education is the key to prevention

Worldwide, 66 million girls are not in school with gender-based violence creating a significant barrier to girls’ access to education. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence requires establishing safe and child-friendly schools, rights-sensitive approaches to discipline, and increased family and community engagement with schools. A “gender responsive school” ensures that all activities, processes and mechanisms are designed to encourage and support gender-equal norms; discourage harmful and inequitable gender stereotypes; and report violence and discriminatory practices.

How Zonta helps

With Zonta International’s support the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women and Plan Vietnam will train youth group ambassadors to organize school campaigns and assist teachers; train teachers and empower them to prevent and respond to violence; and inform and engage parents and caregivers.

Zonta International’s contribution of US$644,000 will support:

  • Development of a strong response mechanism to prevent violence, protect survivors and pursue perpetrators in collaboration with the Department of Education and Training.
  • A school code of conduct, a reporting system and direct support for students and trained teachers.
  • Work with local and national journalists to inform and engage responsible reporting on gender-based violence, particularly school-related violence.

As a result:

  • 20 schools in Hanoi will have increased capacity to promote gender equal norms, and prevent and respond to gender-based violence in and around their schools.
  • 30,000 adolescent girls and boys, age 11 to 18, and 45,000 parents and caregivers will actively engage in preventing and responding to school-related gender-based violence


The Hanoi Department of Education has already recognized the importance of the Gender Responsive Schools model and expressed interest in replicating the model across all 785 secondary schools in Hanoi, reaching more than 500,000 additional students.