San Diu Girl Contributes to Gender Equality in Education


Ha Thi Hong is most proud of her support for students in their studies abroad
Ha Thi Hong is most proud of her support for students in their studies abroad.

Ha Thi Hong (born 1994) is a water, climate change and energy researcher, with a strong interest in gender equality in education.

According to Ha Thi Hong, gender equality in education contributes to improved workforce quality. In addition, mothers with relatively higher levels of education often have better foundations for raising children.

Ha Thi Hong

"Many of my friends were encouraged by their parents to only study up to secondary school, and then find a job at factories, even after getting married. Many families cannot afford for all their children to go to school and they often give this privilege to sons. It is also a common view that girls’ main responsibilities are getting married and having children, which results in many barriers for women in accessing higher levels of education. Instead, I was very fortunate to have parents who always encouraged me to pursue my studies," Hong shared.

According to Hong, increasing access to education for women by targeting barriers and inequality benefits both the workforce and families, as more educated mothers are able to be more engaged in their children’s education.

Born and raised in Thai Nguyen province in a farming family, Hong had to help her mother with her fieldwork after school. She shared: "I recall our old days of going to school on a sticky earth road, where we couldn’t move our bicycles on rainy days and had to walk them to a pond for washing off the soil. Sometimes we fell off the bikes and our clothes and books all got wet, so we couldn’t get to school. In flood seasons, we often faced the risk of drifting away with our bikes by the water."

Hong experienced difficulties practicing English in an international environment
Hong experienced difficulties practicing English in an international environment.

At secondary school, Hong struggled with her dialect, which was often teased by her peers, and she found it difficult to fit in or mix with other students. However, she worked to overcome these challenges and was admitted to Faculty of Science and Environmental Management at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry. She then went on to win the Australia Awards Scholarship and completed her Masters degree of Environmental Sciences at the University of Western Australia in 2019.

The San Diu woman feels most proud of her support for students studying abroad. For her, people can achieve more and contribute to society only through education. Hong is very active in raising of students’ awareness of environmental preservation, through the Australian Government-funded rubbish classification project titled "Waste-free University Campus" at the University of Agriculture and Forestry.

Hong shared: "I hope the opinions and knowledge of indigenous people, especially those from ethnic minority groups, will be heard more through environment protection projects, and reflected in government policies on protecting the rights of local people."


Additional information