To celebrate the International Day of the Girl (IDG2020), at the Swedish embassy, H.E. Ann Måwe, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam became the first person to sign the open letter to social media companies, initiated by Plan International, to call for building a safe online environment for children and youth, especially girls.
During the meeting, the Ambassador was very happy to see Phuong Anh, 21 years old, who was empowered by Her Excellency to be the Ambassador in the series of #GirlsTakeover events in 2019, and Y Nhi, 18 years old, a member of Plan International’s Youth Advisory Committee, accompanying Phuong Anh in this event. Her Excellency is particularly fond of Y Nhi’s sharing about the situation of cyber bullying:
“We love using social media, but girls just simply want to share their own images and opinions, but we often receive very negative criticisms. It is understandable to see many images are edited carefully with gorgeous filters, somewhat different from reality nowadays. Many can’t put up with those criticisms, some fall into depression, some even worse: suicide”.
After listening to the current situation of cyberbullying in Vietnam, Ambassador Ann Måwe also emphasized that the role of parents and teachers is to ensure the safety of children online, but still need to respect their privacy.
“Many people argued that when girls and women publish their information on the internet, they need to be prepared for judgments and criticisms. But why don’t we turn this around, that social media is a welcoming platform for all. Women and girls have the right to express themselves and their own perspectives on it. They deserve to be listened to, instead of receiving non-constructive criticism “.
The Swedish Embassy in Vietnam and Plan International call for everyone’s participation to create a safer online environment for everyone, especially women and girls. Interested participants, please sign up here