Follow us on:
Search the Knowledge Hub

Country Gender Equality Profile Viet Nam 2021

UN Women




Influencing Gender Norms Workplace Gender Equality

Country Gender Equality Profile Viet Nam 2021

Country Gender Equality Profile Viet Nam 2021

The Country Gender Equality Profile Viet Nam 2021 report, published by UN Women in partnership with the International Labour Organization, the Asian Development Bank and Australian Aid, is the first comprehensive gender profile of Viet Nam and provides an in-depth analysis on gender equality issues in that country based on available evidence, data and research.

The main objective of the Country Gender Equality Profile for Viet Nam 2021 is to serve as a primary source of evidence to drive the prioritisation of financing, programming and advocacy to advance gains and overcome bottlenecks to gender equality in Viet Nam. It is intended that the Country Gender Equality Profile will also contribute to Viet Nam’s monitoring of gender equality-related targets under the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


  • Viet Nam maintains a positive reputation as a country where women enjoy formal equality under the law, have comparatively high workforce participation and access to economic opportunity, and ever improving health and higher education attainments.
  • However, at an aggregate level, closing gender gaps in Viet Nam must now move well beyond a focus on basic human capabilities towards addressing the barriers and biases to women’s empowerment, participation and security. This needs to be done with attention to the compound negative impact of gender and other socio-economic variables – or what is termed ‘intersectionality’. Persistent gaps include:
    • a widening sex ratio at birth in the context of son preference;
    • stereotypes on gender-appropriate fields of study and streaming into a narrow range of occupations;
    • vulnerable, unprotected and low paid employment among women;
    • bias against women in leadership, especially with respect to holding executive positions or in public office at the commune level;
    • a high prevalence of intimate partner violence, alongside the low availability of support services;
    • and a societal expectation that women are responsible for unpaid care work in the home, and obliged to balance this with paid work – in the face of a limited child and elderly care infrastructure.
  • There is also a greater acknowledgement of the extent to which patriarchal norms restrict women’s choices. Emerging concerns include:
    • women’s rebound and recovery from COVID-19 in workforce participation and business; women’s access to skills, qualifications and jobs in an increasingly digitalised economy requiring labour literacy in new technologies;
    • gender wage and pension gaps leading to impoverishment in later life;
    • urban development that reflects women’s realities and preferences; managing the restructuring of the agricultural sector which facilitates women’s transition to new income opportunities;
    • and the low involvement of women in information, decision making and plans relating to climate change resilience.
  • Most important is the need to consider how greater inequalities persist for certain groups of women and girls, such as women from ethnic minority groups, women living with disabilities, rural or migrant women, and single mothers.
  • COVID-19 factors have played out to disproportionately impact women worldwide, with the World Economic Forum estimating that COVID-19 has delayed closing the gender gap ‘by a generation’ (from 99.5 years to 135.6 years, based on current progress).
  • In Viet Nam, COVID-19 led to double the number of hotline calls and shelter admissions of women experiencing violence, as compared to the same period in 2019; women healthcare workers, two thirds of the workforce, reported high stress levels in having to maintain their caregiving role at home, whilst working on the frontline of the pandemic response.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Foreword
  • Acronyms
  • Key Gender Equality Indicators
  • Executive Summary
  • Chapter 1. Country Gender Equality Profile
    • 1 Purpose of the CGEP
    • 2 Methodology
  • Chapter 2. Viet Nam’s Gender Equality Progress
  • Chapter 3. Framework for Gender Equality
    • 1 International Normative Framework
    • 2 Legal and Policy Framework
    • 3 Institutional Framework
    • 4 Financing for Gender Equality
    • 5 Gender Statistics Framework
  • Chapter 4. Equality in Human Development
    • 1 Demographics
    • 2 Health
    • 3 Education
    • 4 Vocational Education and Training
  • Chapter 5. Equality in The Economy
    • 1 Women’s Status in The Economy
    • 2 Labour Force Participation
    • 3 Unpaid Care Work
    • 4 Women in Business
    • 5 Technical Training
    • 6 Land and Property
    • 7 International Labour Migration
    • 8 Access to Finance
    • 9 Access to Information and Technology
    • 10 Country Gender Equality Profile Viet Nam 2021
  • Chapter 6. Equality in Leadership and Management
    • 1 Women’s Representation in Politics
    • 2 Leadership in Public Administration and Management
  • Chapter 7. Equality in Safety and Security
    • 1 Violence Against Women
    • 2 Women, Peace and Security
  • Chapter 8. Equality in Social Life and Protection
    • 1 Marriage and Family Life
    • 2 Equality for LGBTIQ People
    • 3 Equality in The Media
    • 4 Equality for Women with Disabilities
    • 5 Social Protection Over the Life Course
  • Chapter 9. Equality in a Developing Viet Nam
    • 1 Urban Development
    • 2 Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Chapter 10. Equality in The Future Decade
    • 1 Covid-19 and Pandemics
    • 2 Environment, Climate Change and Disasters
    • 3 Industrialisation and Technology
  • Findings
  • Key Recommendations
  • Annex 1: Bibliography

This report was originally published on the International Labour Organization website.

Vietnamese version available on the UN Women website.

to top