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Gender study in Vietnam, reality and trend
22/3/2007 14:36' Send Print

The scientific study of women in the capacity of an independent scientific branch came into existence in Vietnam in the 1980s. The coming into being of this scientific branch was an objective necessity stemming from both process of renewal and the broad women’s movement. Women’s studies is a social and human science which, like other social sciences, often focuses on the pressing matters of daily life. Moreover, Women’s Science, in the very early days, was closely linked with the active movement of women in Vietnam. In the early days, the scientific study concentrated on the life of female farmers and workers, intellectuals in aspects of marriage, family, labor, employment, income, delivery and nursing of babies and children etc. The results of these studies were limited but practically contributed to the formation of a theoretical basis for making development policies and drew the attention of the scientific circle, management executives, leaders and society in general on the relevant matters in women’s lives.

Together with international exchange and integration, in the early years of the 1990s, different views on gender were quickly disseminated into Vietnam. The adoption of gender issues was a breakthrough in the development of Women’s Science which made quick changes in the perception, attitude and behavior of society, and established gender equity in all aspects of Vietnam’s society in the renewal process. In considering the process and study orientation on gender in the past years, one might see different stages: the first 5 years of the 1990s; the last 5 years of 20th century; and the early years of 21st century. In the last two stages, the study and dissemination of gender information in particular and the women’s movement in Vietnam were strongly affected by two important events: The Beijing Action Platform and Millenium Development Goals.

After 15 years of having been introduced into Vietnam, the view on gender is generally accepted and developed in many aspects of social life. In reality, the gender issue has become a common concern of society. Although there have been many positive changes in gender relations, great improvments in the position and life of Vietnamese women, the liberation of women and the establishment of gender equity in Vietnam are still pressing issues which need further efforts to improve from both the two sexes and society as a whole.

Nguyen Linh Khieu