Modern fairy tale making contest targets to break gender stereotypes

A new contest to eliminate gender stigma and stereotypes in fairy tales was launched in Hanoi on October 17, inviting all legal residents of Vietnam, especially children and the youth, with no age limitation, to participate.

The poster of the “Generation Equality” modern fairy tale making contest. (Photo provided by UN Women)
The poster of the “Generation Equality” modern fairy tale making contest. (Photo provided by UN Women)

Co-organised by the UN Women, the Embassy of Ireland in Vietnam and the ChildFund Vietnam, the fairy tale making competition, under the theme of “Generation Equality,” runs from October 17 to November 27.

In fairy tales and bedtime stories, such as the story of Tam and Cam, Thach Sanh, Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, girls have been portrayed as beautiful, weak, dependent and focused on developing skills which reinforce their socialised roles in the private domain, such as cooking, child care and hygiene. As for boys, they have been prepared for dominant and high-command roles that determine societal dynamics in the public sphere. Therefore, oral literature has served as a means to reinforce gender stereotypes.

For that reason, the contest targets to create modern fairy tales and bedtime stories that help realise women’s rights and promote equality between men and women, boys and girls and other gender minorities.

The competition aims to highlight women and girls' value and talent and raise awareness among individuals, especially youth, in Vietnam, on the role that they can play in breaking down gender stereotypes and promoting gender equality.

It targets not only to empower women and girls and reduce gender inequalities in literature, but also to be a platform for future generations to have access to literary texts with gender equality messages and break down the systemic barriers and social norms that hinder women’s and men’s, boys’ and girls’ enjoyment of their full potential and capabilities.

Each participant can submit up to five entries, which can be stories (no more than 2,000 words) or one/a series of drawings with storyline in A4 (or larger format). All entries must be submitted before November 27 to UN Women Vietnam, at No. 304 Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi or to e-mail: with the title “Submission for Fairy Tales Competition.”

The organisers will present one first prize worth VND15 million, one second prize worth VND10 million, one third prize worth VND7 million and two consolation prizes worth VND5 million each. The winner will have a chance to work with a professional team to develop their stories into a comic book or a video animation.

The contest is part of activities to commemorate the Vietnamese Women’s Day (October 20), the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign 2019 and the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 2020.