President Tran Dai Quang passed away on Sep, 21 after a series of complicated illnesses. A two-day national mourning period will happen on 26-27, Sep.
Stepping in to replace him is Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, who has been appointed as the acting President until the National Assembly makes a move to officially elects someone.
The appointment was announced on Sep, 23 by the National Assembly (NA) Vietnam’s parliament.
Ms Thinh was elected as the Vice President in April 2016. The 59-year-old has a masters degree in Political Science and bachelor’s degrees in Law and History.
The NA’s next session is scheduled to take place on Oct, 22.
This is huge news – but why is no one excited?
According to Andrea Giorgetta, Asia director for the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights, Ms Thinh’s historic appointment as the first female president of Vietnam is undermined by the reason.
“The appointment of a woman as Vietnam’s president may be historic, but it has more to do with internal party politics rather than gender”.
Women’s rights will not improve
According to VOA News, women’s rights will not improve after this significant moment. Activist, Do Nguyen Mai Khoi, told VOA News that the appointment only affects Communist Party members.
“We should however remember that, as an unelected leader who is not accountable to the public, this appointment is not likely to improve conditions for most women in Vietnam.”
Ms Giorgetta also points out to Reuters that the number of women in high-ranking government positions is very few. This reflects the difference in power between genders.
“The reality is that the number of women in decision-making positions at all political levels in Vietnam remains low and reflects firmly-rooted gender stereotypes about the role women in the country’s society”.
Vietnam does not have a ruler who makes the final decision. Instead, there are four “pillars” who act as a Congress – the president, the prime minister, the chief of its Communist Party and the national assembly chair.
What are your thoughts on Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh being the first female president of Vietnam?
Read more articles below: