ILO: COVID-19 Pandemic Widens Gender Disparities In VN
16:30 | 08/03/2021

VGP – The COVID-19 pandemic has not only widened deep-rooted gender inequality but also created new gender disparities in Viet Nam, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Illustration photo

In Viet Nam, over 70% of Vietnamese women in working age are engaging in the labor force. The rate is higher than the average figure of 47.2% across the globe and 43.9% in the Asian-Pacific Region, according to a report of the ILO themed: “Gender and labor market in Viet Nam.”

ILO’s Labor Economist Valentina Barcucci, the author of the report assessed that before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, both women and men got equal access to jobs. However, job quality of women was lower than that of men. Female laborers held a majority of vulnerable jobs especially household duties. Their monthly incomes were 13.7% lower than that of men despite similar working hours. In addition, women accounted for nearly a half of the labor force but occupied less than 25% of general leadership positions. 

Women spent 20.2 hours in cleaning houses, washing clothes, cooking, shopping, and taking care of kids. Meanwhile, men spent only 10.7 hours for these duties. Nearly 20% of them didn’t spend any time for household work.

The report found out that women suffered most from working hour cuts.

In addition, the pandemic has not only hampered the deep-rooted gender inequality but also created new disparity. Women had to spend more working time in the second half of 2020 to offset income losses in Q2.

Previously, unemployment rate was similar among men and women. However, the problem has occurred since last Q3.

According to Dr. Chang-Hee Lee, the 2019 Labor Code opened up opportunities to narrow down gender inequality including closing gap in retirement ages and lifting legal barriers on women’s employment in some specific professions. However, it is necessary to change thinking of both men and women on gender discrimination in order to change their behaviors in the labor market.

Recently, the Government issued the National Strategy on Gender Equality for the 2021-2030 period with a view to materializing preset goals in which women would hold key leadership positions in 60% of state management agencies and local administrations at all levels by 2025 and 75% by 2030.

The number of paid women employees in Viet Nam will increase to 50% by 2025 and about 60% by 2030. The proportion of women working in the agriculture sector among all employed women will decline to below 30% by 2025 and less than 25% by 2030.

The rate of female directors or owners of businesses is expected tso reach at least 27% by 2025 and 30% by 2030. Especially, the country targets to reduce the average time women spend doing unpaid housework by 1.7 times by 2025 and 1.4 times by 2030 compared to that of men./.

By Kim Loan



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