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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.

Latest Resources

Investigating gendered social norms affecting women’s economic participation related to recruitment and promotion in Vietnam

02 July 2020

This report presents findings of CARE International in Vietnam’s research on gendered social norms and how they limit women’s economic participation as factory workers and office workers in Vietnam. The research employs CARE International’s Social Norms Analysis Plot Framework, which can be used to define the components and assess the strength of ...

Men and masculinities in a globalising Viet Nam

01 July 2020

This report summarises the findings of the research on men and masculinities in a globalising Vietnam carried out by the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS) in 2019 – 2020. It is the first large-scale study on men and masculinities in Viet Nam conducted through a survey and interviews with more than 2,500 working age men, living in Hanoi, ...

Impact of COVID-19 on employees in Vietnam, May 2020

27 June 2020

This fact sheet provides findings around impacts of COVID-19 on employment, productivity, income, household responsibilities, and mental and physical health in Vietnam.

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