Vietnam has made strides in improving women’s economic empowerment; achieving parity in boys’ and girls’ primary school enrolments, more than 30% of women in tertiary education, and almost one third of small to medium enterprises owned by women. Vietnam has progressive laws around maternal rights and the government has ratified The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Despite some progress, cultural and political barriers continue to restrict opportunities available to women. Employers in Vietnam pay women on average VND 3 million per year less than men, promote only half as many women as men, and discriminate against women in recruitment with 70% of job advertisements specifically requesting men.
In Vietnam, banks approve fewer business loans of lesser value for women than for men and the law forces women to retire five years earlier than men. Vietnamese society also places the burden of unpaid housework and childcare on women, pushing them to take informal, low-paid work or sacrifice their careers to spend more time at home.
In collaboration with corporations and business leaders, impact investors and entrepreneurs, governments and advocates in Vietnam, Investing in Women is building the business case and spearheading the campaign for women’s economic equality in South East Asia.
This issue of EAFQ touches on key economic and social questions that affect gender equality in Southeast Asia and East Asia, delving beneath the aggregates and measurement challenges.
Catalytic Capital for Women’s Economic Empowerment: Report of the External Review of Component 2 of the Investing in Women Initiative
This report summarises the findings and recommendations of the external review of Component 2 (C2) on impact investing of the Investing in Women Initiative (IW) funded by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
This updated Investment Design Document for Investing in Women reflects the opportunities and constraints of the evolving operational environments; the policy and budgetary settings of the Australian Government; and the lessons from Phase 1 implementation as identified through an independent Review process.