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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

The Business of Social Norms

19 July 2021

This document provide guidance on what companies can do to shift social norms and challenge stereotypes in the workplace. Measures that have been successfully implemented by private sector companies to influence gender norms are also cited, for reference.

Impact of COVID-19 on private sector employees in Vietnam – update

28 June 2021

Following the first survey in May 2020, which examined the initial impacts of COVID-19 on employees in Vietnam, the repeat survey in December 2020 sought to understand how the pandemic was affecting employees after almost a year of living with COVID-19.

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 ...

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