Social determinants of gender inequality in Vietnam hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Traditional perceptions of men’s and women’s roles in society are the underlying causes of gender inequality in Vietnam, according to a study by the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS).

Released in Hanoi on March 7, it analysed “social factors determining gender inequality in Vietnam ”. ISDS collected the data from 2012 to 2015 with support from the Ford Foundation, Oxfam Novib and the Australian government.

It includes a national survey of 4,212 women and 4,212 men between 18 and 65 from nine cities and provinces: Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City , Da Nang , Thai Binh, Phu Tho, Lam Dong, Binh Thuan, Vinh Long and Tay Ninh, and qualitative research undertaken in Hanoi , Hung Yen, Ho Chi Minh City and Long An.

The study revealed that Vietnamese men and women across all social strata see women as the family caregiver. This perception hinders women’s access to education, employment, and social and political positions.

Women have significantly lower levels of education than men. They are more likely than men to have a lower-secondary school education or lower (70.78 percent and 60.28 percent, respectively), while less likely to graduate from upper-secondary school or higher levels of education (29.22 percent and 40.33 percent, respectively).

Notably, more than 20 percent of women covered by the survey did not work because of household chores, compared with 2 percent of men.

Moreover, women are more likely to work in agriculture or in the informal sector. As a consequence, women are more likely to pay their social and health insurance out of their own pocket.

The study suggested Vietnam enforce gender-related laws, improve key social services to reduce the burden of housework, and develop and implement a policy to facilitate women’s access to career opportunities through professional training.

ISDS Director Khuat Thi Thu Hong said the study explained why progress made in gender equality is not on par with the country’s socio-economic achievements.

A large number of highly educated Vietnamese in urban areas still have unequal perceptions of gender roles, she added.

Bui The Duc, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, said his agency will take the survey’s recommendations as references to orient communication work and promote the effectuation of gender equality policies and laws in order to fulfill the sustainable development goal on gender.-VNA