UN Women Viet Nam
After the end of a war that devastated the country, Viet Nam’s political and economic reforms that started in the mid-1980s contributed to impressive socio-economic progress. Viet Nam managed to reduce the poverty rate from 58.1 per cent in 1993 to 9.6 per cent in 2012 and the country transitioned to lower Middle-Income status in 2010. The Government has made significant progress in promoting gender equality also. In addition to gender equality guarantees in the Constitution, milestone legislations introduced include the Law of Gender Equality (2006) and the Law on Prevention and Control of Domestic Violence (2007).
However, while women's labour force participation is one of the highest in the region at 73.2 per cent (2013), women have limited access to formal employment and are disproportionately engaged in vulnerable employment (69 per cent in 2012) that do not provide social security. Prevalence of domestic violence is high with three in five ever married women experiencing some form of violence in their lifetime by their intimate partner. The harmful practice of son preference is also resulting in a highly skewed sex ratio at birth (113 boys to 100 girls in 2013). These are a result of weak enforcement of the law and deep-rooted gender stereotypes and social norms that limit opportunities for women and girls.
UN Women is part of the UN “Delivering as One” initiative in Viet Nam and it leads UN’s advocacy to further promote gender equality by enhancing women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women and girls and improving women’s access to justice, and making gender equality a key part of the national legal framework, policies and plans.