Improving the legal knowledge and confidence to make contributions to the Bill on Population

Grantee Organisation: Ha Giang Farmers’ Union

Location: Ha Giang

Duration: November 2014 – August 2015

Although the project has ended, but these days the people in Lo Lo Chai village, Lung Cu commune, Dong Van district, Ha Giang province, are still discussing about their participation in contributing to the Bill on Population. It was the first time people could directly participate in contributing with their opinion on a law in so many forms and events.

Ms Vang Thi Xuyen, a Lo Lo woman in Lo Lo Chai village said: “I have participated in seminars and direct dialogues with local government officials, departments and mass organisations on the Bill on Population. I found such events very interesting and the officials were very close to the people, so I felt more confident and bold in raising my opinion on the issues I wanted bring across to them”.

Ha Giang Farmer Union has implemented the project “Strengthening the links between social organisations, development partners, community groups, government agencies, mass organisations, legal experts and policymakers at all levels to promote a policy dialogue and contribute to the Bill on Population in districts of Ha Giang”, including Dong Van district.

“To mobilize participation of the public, especially our members, we first had to improve their knowledge and awareness of the purpose, meaning and necessity of promulgating the Bill on Population, so we organised training combined with communication events in the form of stage performances”. Ms Trang Thi Mai, chair of the Dong Van Farmers’ Union said: “After that we organised meetings, seminars and dialogues with rural women, local government officials, departments and mass organisations to collect their contributions to the Bill on Population, matching the legitimate rights and interests of the people, especially the rural ethnic minority women.”

Perhaps it is therefore that Ms Vang Thi Xuyen felt more confident to speak out her opinion on the Bill: “At the meeting, I told the officials that to improve the health care for the women, I would very much like the Government to have good healthcare policies and services for women, particularly in family planning, prenatal care and childbirth. Since we are living very far away from the district centre and going there is very difficult, we mainly get prenatal care and give birth in the commune”.

With many forms of exchanges and contributions, the project implemented by Ha Giang Farmers’ Union has made many contributions to the Bill on Population from the perspective of everyday life of the people in mountainous ethnic minority areas, in issues like family planning, the situation when giving birth to three or more children, migration, population quality, reproductive health care services, gender equality in population activities, etc.

The local government, departments and mass organisations have very actively participated in the project activities, making a lot of contributions to the Bill and highly appreciated Ha Giang Farmers’ Unions activities to mobilize public participation.