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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

Global Gender Gap Report 2021 (15th edition)

06 April 2021

Based on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, another generation of women will have to wait for gender parity. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt, closing the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years. Gender-sensitive recovery strategies will be critical in making ...

Gender lens investing in Southeast Asia: A snapshot of progress in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam

30 March 2021

This landscape report, co-authored by Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, and Value for Women Ltd. (VfW), presents gender lens investing (GLI) trends and insights from investors operating in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. It draws on extensive interviews—conducted before and during the COVID-19 pandemic—with more than 30 investors and ecosystem ...

ASEAN Gender Outlook: Achieving the SDGs for all and leaving no woman or girl behind

03 March 2021

This flagship regional publication, jointly produced by the ASEAN and UN Women, calls for greater investment and prioritisation of data for tracking progress towards gender equality and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.

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