Seminar discusses regulations on gender equality for guest workers hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source:Internet)
HCM City (VNA) – A seminar looking at the labour law in relation to contracted guest workers’ gender equality was held in Ho Chi Minh City on March 11.

There are 500,000 Vietnamese working overseas across 40 countries and territories. Among them, the rate of female labourers increased from under 20 percent in the 1990s to 35 percent in 2010. Most of these women work in factories, and some do household works or take care of old and ill people. They normally have lower social positions, earn less than their male peers and are not legally protected by the host countries.

Participants said Vietnam has yet to devise any policies supporting female citizens working abroad.

Despite their increasing number and significant contribution to home development, they face labour exploitation, sexual harassment, abuse and lack of payment overseas. Upon returning home, their difficulties continue with family problems and unemployment.

Participants urged the Government to issue guidance that will be used by labour-export companies to equip their contracted female workers with essential knowledge.

They stressed the need for a relevant legal framework to ensure safe labour export and welfare benefits for migrant workers.

According to Deputy Head of the Overseas Workers Management Department Pham Viet Huong, the law on gender equality states that law building and enforcement are required to include gender equality.

However, all legal documents guiding the implementation of the 2006 law on contract workers working overseas have failed to follow the regulation.

Assessments of and amendments to laws and legal documents from the perspective of gender equality can protect and empower female labourers who are more vulnerable aboard, he said.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Overseas Workers Management Department and UN Women co-organised the seminar.

UN Women is also collaborating with the UN Development Programme to launch a campaign that urges young people to act against gender stereotypes and violence. The campaign runs from March 11 to 13.-VNA