News / Economy

    Childcare Key for Working Women in Vietnam

    FILE- A woman works at a yarn-weaving plant of the Ha Nam textile company in Phu Ly city, about 60 km (37 miles) south of Hanoi, July 4, 2013.
    FILE- A woman works at a yarn-weaving plant of the Ha Nam textile company in Phu Ly city, about 60 km (37 miles) south of Hanoi, July 4, 2013.
    While Vietnam still struggles with issues of work and gender, it has been making strides toward equality in its economy. Those attending a recent forum in Ho Chi Minh City said one of the secrets to the success is childcare.

    When they go to the office, women here generally leave their children to be looked after by grandparents, live-in nannies, or employees at the country’s increasingly popular daycare centers. These affordable options allow women to maintain both work and family.

    “I think conditions for women in Asia are much more favorable,” Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Bruno Angelet said Thursday.

    Speaking at a forum about women in business co-sponsored by his embassy, Angelet said that in Europe, working mothers have a much harder time affording daycare. That’s true for immigrants, as well. Angelet said that in Hanoi he often signs off on visas for Vietnamese who go to Belgium to look after the children of their sisters or their daughters.

    Culture Matters

    But several trends in Vietnamese society could soon make this advantage obsolete. First, couples are increasingly living away from their parents, either because they are more independent or because they move away to find work in the cities. With fewer and fewer three-generation homes in Vietnam, mothers can no longer rely on their own mothers to help raise their children.

    Also, nannies and childcare facilities are cheap for now because Vietnam is still a low middle-income country. But as Vietnamese get richer, fewer may be willing to work as caretakers and these costs will rise.

     
    Ton Nu Thi Ninh is among Vietnam's most prominent advocates of gender equality, having served as a diplomat and parliamentarian.Ton Nu Thi Ninh is among Vietnam's most prominent advocates of gender equality, having served as a diplomat and parliamentarian.
    x
    Ton Nu Thi Ninh is among Vietnam's most prominent advocates of gender equality, having served as a diplomat and parliamentarian.
    Ton Nu Thi Ninh is among Vietnam's most prominent advocates of gender equality, having served as a diplomat and parliamentarian.
    Ton Nu Thi Ninh, who organized the forum, responded by saying that as Vietnam evolves, it does not necessarily have to lose all of its traditional values.

    “Culture matters,” said Ninh, a former diplomat and member of parliament who has become a leading advocate for women’s rights. “We should find our core strength and select what values to bring with us into the future,” she said.

    Some of that strength is reflected in the data. According to the World Bank, Vietnam had a female labor force participation rate of 73 percent in 2012, compared with 57 percent in the United States and 64 percent in China.

    Trade-offs

    But not all is positive for Vietnamese working mothers. Even with better childcare options, many who climb the corporate ladder find many of the same challenges as their counterparts in the West.

    “I have traded off my youth, my personal time for my business,” said Huynh Kim Phung, director of media and PR firm Truong Phat. “To be good and successful businesswomen, we have to spend a lot of time outside the family, and sometimes the trade-off is really hard.”

    Eventually Phung convinced her husband to share some of the domestic duties, which forum-goers said is one area where Vietnam can make progress on gender equality. Men will have to do more chores and care for children to help their wives, especially if costly daycare becomes out of reach for average Vietnamese.

    Attendees also discussed structural changes that Vietnam can make, from companies that institute quotas and internships to bring in more females, to public policies that support childcare and equal pay.

    In 2012, Vietnam was one of the few countries where the pay gap increased between men and women, to as much as 30 percent, the International Labor Organization reported.

    Nguyen Hong Ha, deputy general director at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the country needs a cultural shift to solve the problem.

    “When children are born, they have no idea whether they must respect women or men,” she said. Instead, gender equality is learned, so Vietnamese have to teach not only males to do their share, but also females to believe they can do just as well as men, Ha said

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: David.tran from: Vietnam
    April 22, 2014 2:59 AM
    Vietnam is very potential market to any investor but we should have right person to approach the market.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9098
    JPY
    USD
    105.75
    GBP
    USD
    0.7631
    CAD
    USD
    1.3189
    INR
    USD
    67.209

    Rates may not be current.