The Women’s Rights as Workers under CEDAW report analyses Vietnam’s adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in relation to women’s workplace rights and economic empowerment more broadly in Vietnam.
The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the primary international legal instrument that focuses on women’s rights. State parties – which include all Southeast Asian countries – must submit periodic reports on their progress to the CEDAW Committee, which is a panel of independent experts. The Committee evaluates states’ progress in implementing the treaty on the basis of those reports, as well as ‘shadow reports’ provided by NGOs.
CEDAW covers a broad range of concerns from the elimination of discrimination in political life, to equal access to education and healthcare. Gender equality in the workplace is primarily addressed through Article 11, which prohibits discrimination in employment, deals most directly with women and employment. However, several other parts of the Convention also establish rights that are related to women and work generally. Most important among these are:
- Article 3, which is concerned with the advancement of women in political, social, economic and cultural fields;
- Article 13, which requires states to ensure non-discrimination in family benefits and loans; and
- Article 14, which requires states to take into account the particular problems faced by rural women, including their participation in the non-monetised sectors of the economy.
Vietnam ratified The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1982, and has submitted five periodic reports to the CEDAW Committee setting out its progress in implementing the treaty.
The report finds that the Vietnamese government has been reasonably consistent over time in addressing the issue of workplace rights and conditions in detail. In its most recent report to the CEDAW Committee the Vietnamese government has also emphasised the need to establish adequate rights and protection for women migrant workers.
The Vietnamese government has consistently emphasised the importance of gender mainstreaming; women-centred research; and the inclusion of women in its development strategy. In more recent years it has raised themes on women entrepreneurs, in particular around the ability of rural businesswomen to access credit.
- Women as workers in The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women
- Women and work in Vietnam’s reports
- Themes in Vietnam’s reports to The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women