Viet Nam: #HowAbnormal aims to break gender stereotypes


The videos received over 30,000 views, 1,000 likes, shares and comments from Facebook users from late December 2015 to February 2016
#HowAbnormal fanpage has attracted over 3000 followers by March 2016, most of whom are 18-34 years old. Male followers account for 30%



Existing stereotypes in Viet Nam confine women and men to certain ways of being and to hold specific careers and positions. The #HowAbnormal campaign uses a series of comics and videos featuring scenarios where gender roles are flipped, together with youth-engaging offline and online activities to raise public awareness, especially the youth, of the negative gender stereotypes that confine women and men to certain ways of being.

“We launched the #HowAbnormal campaign to encourage people to stop and think about gender stereotypes,” said Ms Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam. “Stereotypes are preconceived ideas of behavior and what we expect of others. Often, it means oversimplifying reality and forgetting how unique every human being really is”.


Videos: Flipped Gender Roles



A series of videos featuring scenarios where gender roles are produced to highlight gender norms and the double standards that public hold on expectations of women and men, boys and girls. They depict situations where traditional gender roles have been inverted, in order to provoke people to question, "how abnormal the normal is" and to change perspective and behavior.  

Main actress and actors of the video series Anh Thu and Quy Binh attended the campaign launch and shared their experiences in acting in these provocative films. "It is an interesting experience for me to play a 'gender-flipped' character but it is not so difficult for me to portray that image, which is way too common for women in Viet Nam. We all should join hand to reshape the norms." said Quy Binh.

Watch the videos on Youtube.



Filmmaking Contest


As part of the campaign, a film making contest was held to encourage all film makers to develop creative films that help further challenge gender norms, bring in different perspectives and promote gender equality in the workplace, the home and public spaces. 

The competition received the enthusiastic participation from young filmmakers across the country. Over 50 individuals and teams submitted their film proposals and 9 best scripts were granted with funds to be produced into films. They have put into their lenses the vivid, objective and honest images of widely supposed gender norms. 

In early March, 2016, during the final stage of the competition, 3 videos were selected for the top prizes and 1 special prize for public votes on the campaign’s social media channels has been awarded. The winner, “I love you mum” by Nguyen Phuong Phi, tells the story of the struggles of a woman through the lens of her daughter.

Read the story behind the eight-minute film titled Bình Minh (The Sun Rises), one of the films that entered the final stage. Or if you read Vietnamese, read this story by BBC, and watch the winning films here.

Photo credit: Vo Huy Thang


Youth Festivals in Universities


A series of youth-engaging festivals will be held in universities and colleges across Viet Nam including ethnic minority regions from March to November, 2016. This is part of the #HowAbnormal campaign and is expected to further raise the awareness. 

More than 2,000 students from the University of Commerce, Ha Noi Academy of Theatre and Cinema, Phuong Dong University etc. gathered at the University of Commerce in early March to jointly launch the festival.

“In my family, I have seen the boy children preferred over the girl ones and find it normal. Until today I am aware that these practices are totally abnormal. If we want gender equality, men and women need to learn to share each other’s pressure. It must be the two-way sharing of responsibilities and burdens.” said Nguyen Thi Linh Lam, a student of Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam, at the launch event.

It is expected to attract over 30,000 students, teachers, school leaders, celebrities, and government representatives, motivating the participants to make pledges to stand up for gender equality.

Check out what the students captured about the event on Instagram:



Last updated: Apr 4, 2016

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