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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

Gender norms and change

26 May 2020

This paper provides an overview of evidence on recent program interventions that address gender norms. Its purpose is to provide a summary of how these interventions have sought to influence gender norms and the lessons learned from these efforts.

Report: COVID-19 and Women’s Economic Participation

20 May 2020

This report provides analysis from a rapid but extensive literature review around the impacts of COVID-19, previous pandemics and recessions on the economic position of women. It also includes analysis on actual and potential impacts in Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam, as well as risks and opportunities looking ahead.  

Investing in Women Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning from Phase 1

30 April 2020

Investing in Women showed significant progress in women’s economic empowerment through its four program components in its first phase, from 2016-2019. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning findings across the four program components in Phase 1 of Investing in Women.  

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