Australia Awards scholar shares her passion for gender equality on International Women’s Day
March 8, 2017

Australia Awards scholar Pham Thi Thanh Dung

Every year on 8 March, the achievements of women around the world are celebrated as part of International Women’s Day. The day brings a lot of excitement to Australia Awards scholar Pham Thi Thanh Dung from Vietnam. We spoke to Pham about her time working for the Vietnam Women’s Union and how studying in Australia has supported her passion for gender parity and development.


After ten years working for the Vietnam Women’s Union, Pham developed a sound understanding of the magnitude of gender inequality that still exists in Vietnam. As an Australia Awards scholar with a passion to create change in her country, Pham is studying at the University of Melbourne to develop a comprehensive understanding of gender imbalance and identify strategies to advance the position of women and girls in Vietnamese society.


“I understood that gender inequality still exists in Vietnam and in many other parts of the world. It happens in different fields, from social, economic to political ones,” said Pham


“My dream was realized when I was awarded an Australia Award, one of the most precious scholarship programs for developing countries. I believe that by studying in a developed country with a gender equality index ranking among the top in the world, I will be able to better serve the cause of gender equality and advancement of girls and women.”


Identifying as a gender activist, Pham has found the opportunity to study at a prestigious Australian university ideal to nurture her ambitions and contribute towards the International Women’s Day global goal of closing the gender gap.


After two months of studying in Australia, I appreciate the opportunities that the Australia Awards has brought to me: an opportunity to study in a world-reputable university, and to explore the most livable city. A chance to strengthen the cooperation between Australia and Vietnam and, most importantly, a door to take me to comprehensive knowledge and experience on gender equality and women and girls’ development.”


Alongside Pham, Australia Awards scholars and fellows around Australia will be attending various International Women’s Day celebrations to recognise the ongoing achievements of women worldwide.


Keep up to date with these celebrations on the Australia Awards Twitter page here:​​

Last updated: April 3, 2017