Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
– Vietnam made outstanding
achievements in gender equality in ethnic minority and mountainous areas in the
period of 2015 to 2019, including a drop of 4.7 percent in the rate of child
marriage in ethnic minority groups, according to a report released on August 4.
The report “Figures on Ethnic Minority Women and Men in Viet Nam
2015-2019,” along with the “Policy Brief: Gender issues in ethnic minority areas in Vietnam,” was launched in celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9. The report was conducted by the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the
Empowerment of Women (UN Women) with financial support from the Embassy of Ireland in
Vietnam, and in coordination with the Institute of Labour Science and Social
Affairs under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs
(ILSSA-MOLISA), and the Department of Ethnic Minority Affairs - Committee for
Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA).
According to the report, the percentage of ethnic minority
households with access to the internet (Wi-Fi, cable, or 3G) increased 9.4
times from 6.5 percent in 2015 to 61.3 percent in 2019, while the average
income per capita per month of ethnic minorities in 2018 increased by 1.8 times
in four years, and the average monthly income per capita of ethnic minority
female-led households was always higher than that of male-led households.
The proportion of children attending school at the right age
increased by 15.2 percent from 2015 to 2019; and the percentage of ethnic
minority people participating in health insurance reached 93.5 percent with no
difference between men and women.
The two publications cover information on ethnic minority
women and men in Vietnam for the period of 2015-2019, including gender analysis
outcomes and providing policy recommendations for gender equality promotion in
ethnic minority areas in the country.
Data in the reports were analysed based on the findings of
the Survey on the Socio-economic Situation of the 53 Ethnic Minority Groups in
Vietnam, which was conducted by the General Statistics Office in collaboration
with CEMA in 2015 and 2019. There are seven main topics: population; infrastructure
and assets; labour, employment, and income; education and training; culture and
society; health, environment, and sanitation; and ethnic minority cadres and
The reports also highlight persistent gender issues in
ethnic minority and mountainous areas which are affecting women and girls. For
instance, while the overall rate of child and consanguineous marriage among the
53 ethnic minority groups has reduced, the extent of reduction was uneven and
has continued to increase among a number of ethnic minority groups.
The analysis found that female ethnic minority workers are
more likely to undertake insecure jobs and are more vulnerable in the workplace
than their ethnic minority male and Kinh female counterparts. Also, while the
percentage of ethnic minority women aged 10-49 who give birth at health
facilities reached 86.4 percent, it remains significantly lower than that of Kinh
women which is over 99 percent.
Bui Ton Hien, Director of ILSSA-MOLISA said that in ethnic
minority communities, women and girls are often more disadvantaged in
accessibility to opportunities and resources due to social norms which impose
an inferior position to them, limit them within birth delivery and household
Meanwhile, Luu Xuan Thuy, Director of Ethnic Minority
Affairs Department under the CEMA highly appreciated UN Women’s technical
contribution and believed that gender equality analyses in ethnic minority areas
are fundamental information and useful for the stakeholders in designing
policies and intervention programmes to ensure that ethnic minority women are
not left behind in the country’s sustainable development process.
Elisa Fernandez Saenz, UN Women Representative in Viet Nam
said that the objective of the reports is to provide stakeholders with a
clearer picture on the current gender equality situation in ethnic minority
areas in Vietnam, wherein gender issues are being well addressed by the government,
but which needs further effort for intervention in both areas of policy and
She emphasised that gender equality issues which intersect
with ethnicity are often difficult to tackle and require a comprehensive
approach, as well as commitments of financial investment in the coming years.
“UN Women believes that these reports shall contribute to
filling the gap of gender statistics among ethnic minority groups in Vietnam,
and to the progress of promoting socio-economic and sustainable development in
ethnic minority areas,” she said.
For her part, Lisa Doherty, Deputy Head of Development at
the Embassy of Ireland in Vietnam said that Ireland believes it is critical to
empower and support women and their communities. The Embassy of Ireland’s partnership with UN Women
aims to ensure that the government's ethnic minority policies and programming -
support for which has always been a central pillar of Ireland’s engagement in
Vietnam - include appropriately strong attention to gender considerations and
prioritise women's empowerment, she added./.