Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women Enhancing Opportunities for Womenâ€™s Enterprises A programme funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Government and managed by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
Gender Analysis Author(s): Lam Thi Thu Suu July 2016
Disclaimer This report has been produced with the assistance of Lam Thi Thu Suu. The content of this report is the sole responsibility of the Consultant and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Government and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.
Acknowledgement This document is part of the “Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises” program which is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands government under the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women funding window (FLOW/EOWE). I thank colleagues from Women’s Union from provincial level to commune level in the four provinces for providing logistic arrangement and expertise inputs that greatly assisted the research. I thank colleagues from SNV, particularly Mr. Nguyen Cong Nhue and Mr. Tran Quang Truong for making comments on methodology and tools, suggesting the study areas and local participants, which greatly contributed to the final quality of the study. I would also like to show our gratitude to all 171 participants from the 4 study areas for sharing their pearls of wisdom with us during the course of this research. I am also immensely grateful to my colleagues from CSRD, Ms. Nguyen Phuc Hoa and Ms. Hoang Thi Hoai Tam for their contribution and effort in field work and transcription.
Table of Contents Disclaimer ................................................................................................................................... 2 Acknowledgement ...................................................................................................................... 3 Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................... 4 Abbreviations ............................................................................................................................. 5 Executive summary ................................................................................................................... 6 1 INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 7 1.1 Background of the project ......................................................................................... 7 1.2 Methodologies.............................................................................................................. 7 1.2.1 Tools and techniques ........................................................................................... 7 1.2.2 Selection of research sites and informant groups ............................................. 9 2 GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN VIETNAM ................................................................................................................................ 11 2.1 Laws and policies on gender equality and women advancement ......................... 11 2.2 Policies/Programs on women economic development ........................................... 15 3 KEY FINDINGS FROM FIELDWORK ....................................................................... 16 3.1 Overview of the research sites ................................................................................. 16 3.1.1 Quang Binh Province .............................................................................................. 16 3.1.2. Binh Dinh Province ............................................................................................... 17 3.1.3 Ninh Thuan Province .............................................................................................. 18 3.1.4 Binh Thuan Province .............................................................................................. 19 3.2 Policies and/or programs on women economic development ............................... 20 3.3 Gender role/division of labor ................................................................................... 24 3.3.1 Within the household .............................................................................................. 24 3.3.2 In farming/production activities and economic development/business .............. 26 3.4 Access, control, ownership and use of productive assets and resources for production and economic development/business .............................................................. 29 3.5 Opportunities and constraints for women taking lead in production/farming activities, in economic development/business and in community .................................... 30 3.6 The socio-economic, cultural, religious norms and legal factors that underline differential gender position on economic development ................................................ 33 4 CONCLUSIONS .............................................................................................................. 34 5 RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................................................. 36 5.1 General recommendations for the project .............................................................. 36 5.2 Recommendation for future intervention of the project in each provinces ........ 36 5.2.1 To Quang Binh Province................................................................................... 36 5.2.2 To Binh Dinh Province ...................................................................................... 37 5.2.3 To Ninh Thuan Province................................................................................... 38 5.2.4 To Binh Thuan Province ................................................................................... 39 References..................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
Abbreviations CSRD CEDAW DARD DOLISA DSO DPI EOWE FGD FLOW ICESCR IFAD MARD MARD MPI NGO PC SNV SRI SSC VCCI WU
Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Labor, Invalid and Social Affair Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Social Development Department Department of Planning and Investment Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises Focus group discussion Funding Leadership Opportunities for Women International Covenant Economic, Cultural and Social rights International Fund for Agricultural Development Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry of agriculture and rural development Ministry of Planning and Investment Non-governmental Organization People’s Committee Netherlands Development Organisation in Vietnam System of Rice Intensification The Sowing Seeds of Change - Community Based Climate Change Mitigation through Sustainable Rice farming Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Women’s Union
Executive summary The integration of Vietnam into the global economy has been changing role of men and women in many places in many aspects. This report aims to summarize the key findings of a gender analysis study done under the project of “Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women /Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises” (FLOW/EOWE). The study is conducted in 4 provinces including Quang Binh, Binh Dinh, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan using the qualitative methods with a case study in one commune of each province. The study finds that rural and semi-rural women nowadays are bearing with the triple gender roles in the family, in economic development and in community. Although the task divisions are culturally decided but there are some spaces for change. No constrains for women to work in business and their husband is the most influential one that can help them to be able to have a successful business. The study also finds to some point women are able to negotiate with men in task arrangement and decision - making. The recommendation of the study tries to convey the general solution for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment and specific solutions for each province on how to empower women in enterprise, which is the key strategy achieving gender equality and sustainable economic development in Vietnam.
1 INTRODUCTION 1.1
Background of the project SNV Netherlands Development Organization has been working in Vietnam since 1995, using market-based approaches and balancing benefit for gender equality promotion. The “Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises” (EOWE) is a 5-year program being implemented by The Netherlands Development Organisation SNV in Kenya and Vietnam. The Programme is part of the Funding Leadership Opportunities for Women (FLOW) programme funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Social Development Department (DSO). The programme’s objectives: 1. Increase capacity of government actors to implement and localise female entrepreneurship friendly policies and institutions. 2. Increase capacity of local actors, including CSOs, to create bottom-up pressure for women’s economic empowerment and leverage existing policy frameworks to enhance the enabling environment. 3. Challenge gender norms inhibiting women’s access to economic opportunities through behavioural changes. 4. Enhance women’s capacity and confidence to lead successful businesses The Vietnam FLOW/EOWE sub-project enhances the national enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment, especially in agribusiness, increasing access to agribusiness models, assets, technology, markets, and information and focuses on promoting women leadership in cooperatives. The project also promotes a network of the Women’s Union, agriculture sector, Cooperative Union, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and local government for technical support and policy influencing. The sub-project will directly intervene at the province level, as well as undertaken national-level activities in policy influencing and setting up a women’s economic platform and gender network. 1.2 Objectives
of Gender Analysis With a social study conducted in 4 provinces in the Central Vietnam, we aim to get most of the information answering the key research questions relating the differential gender roles and responsibilities, powers, privileges, rights in relation to economic development and the opportunities and constrains that affecting women’s participation in businesses, producer organisation or cooperatives, markets, leadership, etc. This gender analysis helps as a basis for the project team to design the practical intervention at different levels. 1.3 Methodology
Tools and techniques
In-depth interview is conducted to get insightful information from the target women, and a limited number of the stakeholders. This method entails asking questions, listening to and recording the answers, and then posing additional questions to clarify or expand on some particular issues that interest the respondents with eager and curiosity. Questions are open and
the respondents are encouraged to express their own perceptions in their own words based on their knowledge and experience on gender relations and women economic activities. In each study area, the target women who take key role in income generation for the family are interviewed. Questions for this target women group are designed to focus on their economic activity, strength and weakness and their need. In addition, four ordinary in each area (two female farmers and two male farmers) also participate in the in depth interview. After Binh Dinh fieldwork, the consultant team proposed to add two more in depth interviews with one youth and one person with disability to make sure the future intervention don’t miss out these disadvantaged and voiceless groups. The other six key informants of stakeholders are interviewed to get broader information regarding the policies, institutional factors that constrain and facilitate the women’s economic empowerment. The stakeholders including leader(s) in women’s union, agribusiness cooperative, commune people’s committee’s leader, district’s agriculture extension and economic leader(s)/ officer(s) and middlemen. Totally, 46 in depth interview was taken place in 4 provinces. Focus group discussion (FGD) is one of the important qualitative research methods used in gender analysis. During the FGDs, the moderators facilitate free discussion to gain better understanding and to empower the participants in the discussion and bring voice of women and men into the recommendations. Totally 21 focus group discussion sections are conducted in 4 provinces. (1) The first group discussion was done with the participation of women only. During this single women discussion, women are allowed to talk about their experience in their own words. This sex separated group discussions ensure the quality of sensitive information on gender issues. (2) The second FGD was done with a mix group of women, men in the study area. In this mix group, both men and women have opportunity to argue and to compare and contrast their opinions and the others. (3) The third group included men only. With men talk only, we find easier to understand more how the gender relations and gender role prescription is formulated in the specific culturally and socially setting. Gender analysis tools and techniques were used to better facilitate the participatory discussion. (1)Activity profile tool (adapted from the Harvard Analytical Framework) aims to understand the different work that men and women do, how, when and under what condition each group does the task. The key guiding questions include “What are men and women doing in the community? What are their household responsibilities? What are they doing together for the community?, and so on.) (2)Access and Control profile aims to get understanding the current practices and role of men and women on resource use. It looks at who has control over those resources, meaning who makes decision and who has rights under law and/ or under family and community norms. (The key questions cover “Who (men & women) has the right to use the resource such as land, forest, river, wetlands, etc. in the community? Who has controls decision – making
over those resources? Who has control the decision- making over the resources/ benefit created by them and the others such as food, income, education, and health care service?) (3)Institutional Analysis tool aims to identify and get understandings the key institutions and processes or mechanisms influencing the community, gender relations and women empowerment. This tool attempts to analyze power relation structures, rules, practices, policies, activities of the influential institution at national and local level such as women, national committee for women’s advancement, MARD/DARD, etc. The market institutions such as banks, agriculture cooperatives are also important to be analysed. (Key guiding questions are “What kind of services is provided to the community? Who provide what services? Who are involved? Under what are laws and rules? How do they implement the services/policies? What are the impacts from their services/ policies on men and women? And how each of the institutions perpetuates the gender inequality? ) (4) Gender Need Assessment tool attempts to identify the gender practical and strategic needs. It helps to understand the women’s needs, considers what need to change or could change to advance the interests, status, and power of women, particularly the economic women empowerment needs. (Key guiding questions are “What do men and women need to sustain their current lives? Who does each prioritize their needs as their priorities? What could help women gain more control and realize the long term benefits? What could help women gain support for their economic empowerment and development? And so on.) For each group, the FGD takes place in meeting rooms of the local office such as cultural house, commune women union’s office, mass organisation’s meeting places, where there is enough space allowing the outspoken discussion. In reality, the groups of women only find it is difficult to talk about the institutional analysis and government programme because of their limited knowledge about institutions and processes. 1.3.2
Selection of research sites and informant groups
The study sites are selected by local partners and SNV team, whose rationale is mainly based on their traditional and future partnership with the local areas. Quang Ninh District of Quang Binh Province and Tuy Phuoc District of Binh Dinh Province are the project areas of SNV when they conducted the project “The Sowing Seeds of Change - Community Based Climate Change Mitigation through Sustainable Rice farming (SSC)” between 2012 and 2014. Ninh Phuoc District of Ninh Thuan Province and Tuy Phong District of Binh Thuan Province have been recently included in the Vietnam FLOW/EOWE sub-project because they are located in the areas near the Southern of Vietnam with a rapid urbanisation and increasingly diversity of livelihood. In these two new provinces, there are a lot of Champa ethnic people inhabiting for generations, practicing their traditional lifestyle while integrating into the new economic incentives. In each district, one commune or one town is selected as a case study to analyse the gender relations. Most of the selected communes and towns are experiencing the urbanisation process and exposed to the external factors affecting their gender roles and women’s economic activities. There are 171 people participating in the study, of which 92 are women.
Table 1: The number of participants with disaggregation by sex and ethnicity Province
The number of participants (people)
Percentage (% )
Kinh ethnic group
Cham ethnic group
Quang Binh province
Farmers and fishers and ordinary people
Binh Dinh province
Farmers and fishers and ordinary people
Ninh Thuan province
Farmers and fishers and ordinary people
Binh Thuan province
Farmers and fishers and ordinary people
Map 1: Map of study provinces
2 GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN VIETNAM 2.1 Laws
and policies on gender equality and women advancement
It is important to acknowledge the official commitment that has been made to address gender inequality in Vietnam. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18th December 1979. Three years later Viet Nam was the 6th country in the world joining CEDAW
in 1982. The country has made significant efforts to implement its commitments to the convention which highlights the equal rights of women in laws, politics, equal rights for women to take part in education, job, health care and economic activities. The convention is considered as the most important one for making change in gender relation because it aims to bring the female half of humanity into the focus of human rights concerns. Vietnam has achieved greatly in gender equality after CEDAW. The Constitution of Vietnam and More than 40 national laws, regulations and national programs have been developed or revised taking into consideration of women’s right and women’s participation in relevant sectors. Mr. Nguyen Trong Dam, Vice Minister of MOLISA stressed in his opening speech at review meeting in April 2016 "Viet Nam always commits to promote gender equality and women's human rights. This can be seen in revising laws and policies by internalizing CEDAW principles in the legislation and enforcement mechanisms". The Committee of CEDAW have been established at national to local level authorities. People in charge for CEDAW come from the People’s Committee (PC), Department of Labor, Invalid and Social Affair (DOLISA), Women’s Union (WU) and other related departments. The main function of the CEDAW committee is to enforce the advancement of women through intersector programs and promoting women’s role in relevant sectors. The head of the Committee at provincial level is usually the vice chairperson of the People’s committee and the steering member/organization of this committee is the DOLISA. However, the activities are conducted by these committees are widely observed as formally1. Every year the state budget is allocated to this committee. However, the budget is so small that the members of the committee can do annual meetings, aiming to review what the members’ organizations such as WU did over the year and what is next. Despite of the effort, not many practical changes have been made because there is not enough communication, trainings, campaign by this committee where the knowledge and attitudes can be gained. As a result, a lot of gender issues are still prominent arround the countries. Box 2: NGO REPORT ON CEDAW IMPLEMENTATION IN VIETNAM 20102 1. Women and political participation “Targets of 30 % of female political participation have been set but failed to achieve at all levels of government. For the term of 2007-2011, The proportion of women in the National Assembly is 25.76 percent; in People’s Councils at provincial level, 23.8 percent; in People’s Councils at district level, 22.94 percent; and in People’s Councils at commune level, 19.5 percent. For the term of 2011-2016, the rate of female cadres in People’s Council slightly increases to 25.05 percent at provincial level; 24.79 percent at district and 22.26 percent at commune level”. 2. Ethnic minority women and education “The rate of illiterate ethnic minority women remains very high. By April 2009, of nearly 65 million people aged 15 years old and higher, up to 93.88 percent were literate, of which, literate women accounted for 91.85 percent while literate men made up 96.01 percent. For ethnic minority women at the age of 15 years old and higher, 88.12 percent were literate in the Northwest; 87.26 percent were literate in the Northeast; the Midland, 92.7 percent, the Central Highland, 85.2 percent”. 1
3. Rural women’s economic rights “The female rural workforce accounts for nearly 72 percent of the total national female workforce. However, most of the female workers have not been trained and they only do unskilled work with low incomes. Causes for the above-mentioned situation are that gender stereotypes, which limit women’s important roles and responsibilities in their families and society, result in unequal access to education and training. Due to impacts of industrialization, modernization and urbanization farmers are facing huge challenges in shifting the use agricultural lands to other purposes. Moreover, rural women have more difficulty in changing their work than men. In addition to causes arising from low qualifications and working skills, women have to perform their main role within the family as domestic workers, care-takers and farmers” “The proportion of wage earners and non-agricultural, non-forestry, non-aquaculture labor in urban areas was higher than in rural areas (52.4 percent compared to 22 percent); however, fewer women were involved in these trade groups than men (24.2 compared to 35.5 percent; the proportion of labor working in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture in rural areas was higher than that in urban areas (5.2 compared to 2.1 percent). More men were involved in these trades than women (5.5 compared to 3.4 percent); self-employed labor in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture in rural areas was higher than in urban areas (58.4 compared to 11.7 percent) and women were more involved in these occupational groups than men (49.7 compared to 43.2 percent).The above-mentioned percentages show that rural women are still the labour group that are mainly doing vulnerable work. This labour group almost always has no social insurance”. 4. Rights to equality, non discrimination against girl children “Though girl children’s living and development conditions have improved greatly, they are still more disadvantaged than boys of the same age. Main challenges are: (i) discrimination against girl children happen from when they are fetuses, which has led to imbalance in the sex ratio; (ii) adolescents are becoming pregnant and getting abortions; (iii) girl children are the victims of violence, sexual abuse and trafficking; (iv) girl children are involved in economic activities early; (v) rate of drop-out and illiterate girl children is higher than boys. Main causes are poverty; “son-preference”; unsafe and unfriendly living surroundings for children when education or life skills for girl children are not paid the right attention and state management is limited”. 5. Gender- based violence in family and women and children trafficking “Vietnam has made great efforts in combating against domestic violence over the past few years. The ratification of Domestic Violence Prevention and Control Law (DVPCL) has positively contributed to domestic violence prevention and control. However, currently, domestic violence situation is still occurring nationwide. Up to 58 percent of interviewed women said that they had experiences with domestic violence by their husbands or lovers in their life. The most prevalent violence form is physical. Victims of gender-based violence can get one or many forms of physical or mental violence during their life”. “Trafficking of women in Vietnam exists in both illegal form (taking women to China to be wives or to work illegally) and legal form (dispatching women to Taiwan, Korea and Japan to be wives or to work)”. 6. Disadvantaged women’s reproductive and sexual health “There are disparities between rural and urban areas, lowlands and highlands in pre- and postbearing care, access to safe delivery and usage of effective contraceptive devices. The right to sexual and reproductive health of many groups of women such as those with disabilities,
women living with HIV, elderly women, lesbians and single women has not been recognized in reality. Female migrant workers in cities are at high risk of suffering reproductive health problems and sexual abuse, yet they are not the target beneficiaries in community healthcare programmes because they do not have temporary or permanent residence certificates. Most medical workers have not been trained to be sensitive to women’s specific needs related to sexual and reproductive health. The state and private sector have not established medical clinics friendly to adolescents, adults and people with disabilities” One of the most important laws developed under CEDAW is the Law on Gender Quality issued in 2006. The important achievement after 10 year of implementation of the gender equality law is the ratio of women in politics. At the moment, women take about 26,8% of the national assembly position and around 26 % of people’ council positions at provincial, district and commune levels. There is not an official review or evaluation to see how the gender laws and CEDAW – related policies are implemented at lower levels, especially at the grassroots level, but it seems that women and men are very familiar to the term of gender equality and the term appears in many daily conservation, jokes and local discussion. According to (Hoang Hong Hanh, 2013)3 these laws and policies have often not been fully implemented and men and women just talk about gender equality but do not understand its contents and nature. Some other important law have been newly adopted and revised with some significant gender implication. The law on domestic violence prevention and control issued in 2007 legislates the duties of the state, individuals, families, organizations and institutions in regards to preventing and controlling domestic violence and supporting the victims. The law forbids “purposeful acts of certain family members that cause or may possibly cause physical, mental or economic injuries to other family members". Furthermore, the revised land law 2013 has highlighted the equal land entitlement of husband and wife. Importantly, the revised law on marriage and family 2014 has significantly increased the opportunity for women to be equally treated in family in term of property ownership, marriage age, protection from violence. In this law, the reproductive work performed by family members have to be considered as important as productive work and those who do the productive work can involve in reproductive work in the family. The labour law 2015 also sets many articles that are gender sensitive. According to this new labour law, women are entitled to good facilities convenient to women’s needs such as bathroom, rest room in the offices or workshops. The employers are encouraged to be flexible to women in term of working hours in order to response to women’s safety and needs. Particularly, women are allowed to take time to rest (30 minutes/ day, 3 days/month) during period. Mothers of children under 12 months are allowed to reduce working hour and get some support for their employers for childcare.
The Vietnamese National Strategy for Gender Equality (NSGE 2011-2020) is a sectoral strategy that currently becomes part of the Government’s primary planning document and guildline. This national strategy targets “by 2020, substantive equality between men and women is ensured in opportunity, participation and benefits in the political, economic, cultural and social domains, contributing to fast and sustainable national development”. The focus of the strategy is (1) promoting women’s political participation and leadership; (2) narrowing 3
Hoang Hong Hanh (2013). Rice Farming and Value Chain Gender Analysis Report, SNV and Australian Aid, 2013.
gender gaps in the economic domains; (3) raising the educational level for women; (4) promoting gender equality in access to healthcare services; (5) promoting gender equality in and through media and communication; (6) ensuring gender equality in family life; and (7) strengthening institutional capacity of the Government to effectively promote gender equality (National Strategy on Gender Equality for the 2011-2020)4. Accordingly, The National Action Plan on Gender Equality for five - year period (2011- 2015 and 2016-2020) has been developed to realize the National Strategy on Gender Equality in the 2011-2020 period. The 2016-2020 period action plan set a key goal of reducing the gender gaps in the areas and the sectors where the gender inequality exists or are at risk of gender inequality. It sets clear targets on gender understanding for important groups such as government officers, women in politics, students, army servants, etc. through promoting communications to raise public awareness of gender equality and change behaviours, particularly with “Month of action for gender equality” lasting from 15 Nov to 15 Dec each year. The national action plan also targets to promote women’s participation in politics and leadership through personnel assessment at government and party offices and nomination of more women to take position in national assembly and people’s councils at local levels. In addition, the action plan tries to focus on sharing and promoting the good practice on gender equality such as models of women’s empowerment in enterprises, models of fair women worker clubs. The action plan is expected to develop and use effective database good information system on gender equality data and indicator5. Under this national action plan, each province and each sectoral ministry is supposed to set their own targets relevant to , national agenda. The CEDAW committee in each province is in charge of managing the action plan of the province and the CEDAW committee in each sectoral ministry is in charge of managing the ministerial action plan for gender equality. 2.2 Policies
and programs on women economic development
Vietnam also joined the International Covenant Economic, Cultural and Social rights (ICESCR) in 1982. The covenant asserts equal rights for men and women in economic activities and equal opportunities for all to access livelihood assets and to be fair in payment, work safety and suitable rest. The covenant also allows all workers to organize their own groups or join the worker’s unions who have an independent operation agenda and demonstration (Trung tâm Nghiên cứu về Quyền con người và quyền công dân, 2012)6. It is not transparent how Vietnam has implemented the ICESCR. However, there seems little enforcement of ICESCR at institutional levels and practical level because very few conversations and discussions are heard. There seems no committee or agency established to facilitate this process. A general statement of a Vietnamese leader’s speech when reporting 4
http://www.chinhphu.vn/portal/page/portal/English/strategies/strategiesdetails?categoryId=30&articleId=100 50924 5 http://www2.chinhphu.vn/portal/page/portal/chinhphu/noidungchuongtrinhquocgiakhac?_piref33_14737_33 _14736_14736.strutsAction=ViewDetailAction.do&_piref33_14737_33_14736_14736.docid=4097&_piref33_14 737_33_14736_14736.substract= 6
back to the UN ICESCR mentions the country’s commitment to see the people’s as central for development because people are the target and the center for the development. To realize the national strategy on gender equality in economic sector, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) are appointed to coordinate with the related ministries to integrate the gender indicators and gender equality objectives into the ten-year SocioEconomic Development Strategy and the five-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP). Accordingly, the Department of Planning and Investment (DPI) at local levels take gender aspects into their planning process. Furthermore, the gender equality strategy in agriculture and rural development was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in 2005. The strategy focuses on improving women’s access to and control over resources such as land, infrastructures, public services for agriculture and rural development. It highlights the importance to include women and gender indicators in assessment, monitoring and the review of related policies and programs. To realise this strategy, MARD also has developed an action plan on gender equality and women’s advancement in planning and managing the natural resources. In addition, the cooperation mechanism between MARD/ DARD and national banks support women to access low-interest loans and small credit. It is extremely useful for women to step up production. MARD’s review on the strategy implementation in the period between 2010 and 2015 shows that the number of women taking a managing position in the sector has been increased, making the gap in politics between men and women closer, more and more poor and ethnic women can get more access to economic resource, labor market7. 3 KEY FINDINGS FROM FIELDWORK 3.1 Overview
of the research sites
3.1.1 Quang Binh Province 184.108.40.206 Quang Ninh District Quang Ninh is a rural district of Quang Binh Province, which is one of the poorest areas in Central Vietnam. The district has population of more 90,000 people residing in 14 communes and 1 town of Dong Hoi. The Vietnamese Kinh people are living in lowland, coastal areas and the Van Kieu and other ethnic minority groups mainly in two mountainous communes of Truong Son and Truong Xuan. Quang Ninh is located in the areas with the coastal line of more than 25 km and mountainous areas bordering Laos PDR and a large forestry lands and farming land, Therefore, the district economy mainly depends agriculture, which include farming, forestry and fisheries. The agriculture sectors takes 42% proportion in the economy structure of the areas. The main products is rice, which is planted in more than 900 hectors of area, many of areas are under national program to be arranged into larger size field (Cánh đồng mẫu lớn), which is supposed to facilitate better intensive farming and technology operation in rice planting. Despite of difficulties in the weather, district’s agricultural sector has well expanded and conversed to 7
new models such as raising the sand shrimp, prawn, freshwater fish, etc., creating more jobs for many workers. Rice products are produced locally and mainly consumed by people inside the province of Quang Binh and the neighbouring areas. Besides cultivation, animal raising remains the key activities generating income for women. In the meantime, like the other districts and provinces, the industry and construction and tradeservice is more and more invested in Quang Binh Province in general and Quang Ninh District in particularly. These sectors take proportion of 32% and 26% of the local Quang Ninh economy respectively. Trade service is seen relevant to women and is a push for the economic development when the area is well connected with Dong Hoi city in the distance of 7km with a good infrastructure. 220.127.116.11 An Ninh Commune as a case study for gender analysis An Ninh Commune is the largest commune in Quang Ninh District, with the largest number of people living in the commune (more than ten thousand people). Livelihood of An Ninh depends mainly on rice farming, forestry. The agriculture activities are more popular in Kim Nai and Phuc Nhi Village. To get extra income, many families raise animals, each family have about 5-10 pigs being raised. There are some bigger farms managed by both local women and men. In order to provide services to the local farmers, more than 10 small size enterprises and services have been emerged in the last decades. Table 2: List of the women led enterprises/store/ big farms providing services to the local farmers in An Ninh commune No.
Name of the owners of Description of the service enterprise/ store/ service Ms. Hai and Mr. Dao Buying raw rice, rice husking, selling husked rice, 1 packing Ms. Van Raising and breeding pigs, chickens and ducks, 2 selling baby pigs, chickens and ducks Nguyen Thi Thu Raising cows, 3 Nguyen Thi Huong Planting big rice farm (of more than 10ha) 4 Nguyen Thi Net Technology and mechanic service , petrol and energy 5 Ms. Ha Breeding chicken farm 6 Ms. Nguyet, Ms. Le, Ms. Industrial foodstuff for animal 7 Van, Ms. Chiem Ms. Nguyen Thi Ba Technology and transportation service 8 Ms. Hai, Ms. Huong, Ms. Buying raw rice, Rice husking, selling husked rice, 9 Chiem packing Ms. Ba, Ms. Xach , Ms. Construction material 10 Nuong Source: Field interview 3.1.2. Binh Dinh Province 18.104.22.168 Tuy Phuoc District
Tuy Phuoc District is a large rural district of Binh Dinh Province, locating in South Central Coast of Vietnam. The district has the total area of 217,12 km2, and total population is 180,382 people. The district lies next to the Thi Nai Lagoon, where the Con River and Ha Thanh River go through and it gets good water supply from the rivers running from the Central Highlands. There are favorable condition for rice growing, animal farming, handicraft and business and services in this area. There are 11 communes and 2 towns, most of the communes are living depending on rice farming, many communes locating near the coast get key income from both rice and seafood. The district’s development plans tend to diversify the economy, which aims to push the development of industry and service sector. In Tuy Phuoc district, both men and women have more diverse livelihood models to work. Women can participate in many activities raising income for their families. The women’s activities include rice farming, pig and chicken raising, running small shops of foodstuff, hardware, stationary, running bigger shops of construction material, fertilizer, pesticides, seeds. Women in the district also involve in weaving the plastic strings for chairs and tables, making broom, making rice paper cake. 22.214.171.124 Phuoc Hung Commune as a case study for gender analysis Phuoc Hung is a rice area. The whole commune has nearly 700 ha of rice with the productivity of 73 tones / ha. This commune is continuing to rearrange 200 ha of the small rice fields into the bigger rice fields in 6 villages. This arrangement is under the national guideline on “big rice field”, which is assumed to be more efficient. In addition, the commune is lying next to the national highway with good transportation infrastructure connecting to both the economic centers in the Central Vietnam (Danang), North (Hanoi and others) and South (HCM and Mekong Deltas). It has developed more diverse activities and services. A few industrial factories have been developed over the last few years in the areas such as Hoang Vinh Textile Company, Gia Trieu Company. These plants employ hundreds of local young people, including the female workers. In addition, there are many local business services inside the commune or in neighboring commune aiming to provide services to the local farmers such as Thien Nong and Thuan Nong Companies. Besides rice planting, women living in the commune involves in many activities giving extra income for the family. Women are involved in animal husbandry, small shops, weaving plastic chair, rice paper making, broom making, etc. Many youth female are joining the labor force to work in the textile companies. 3.1.3 Ninh Thuan Province 126.96.36.199 Ninh Phuoc District Ninh Phuoc has 1 town (Phuoc Dan) and 8 communes with total population of 135,146 people. With geography of mountain, lowland areas and coastal line, Ninh Phuoc has various livelihood activities. The district have planted in 2.184,5 ha with rice in two crops. The rice plantation ussually lack of water because of recent droughts. As a result, many ha of rice have been converted into the other plants which require less water such as green bean, sesimin,
water melon, ect. With the total area of 415,6 ha of grape, the district is used to be famous in grape, but recently because of the productivity and the unstable market, many famers converts to Dragon fruit and apple. The apple tree is planted on 667 ha and the district has just started to apply VietGAP in the apple area of 19 ha. In addition, the district has tested some new model of livelihood such as Queen Nest models, 188.8.131.52 Phuoc Dan Town as a case study for gender analysis Phuoc Dan is the study area, which lies on the National Highway 1A. In this town, the Champa have been inhabiting for long generation. Both the Kinh and Cham people grow rice, every household owns at least two hectares for rice. Many Kinh people convert rice into grapes and apples for nearly last twenty years, meanwhile the majority of the Cham still works on rice and maintain their traditional handicraft such as pottery and ethnic cloth weaving. The two traditional handicraft villages are invested by local people and government. They are the Pottery Bau Truc and Ethnic Cloth My Nghiep locating in villages around the town. Cham women are famous with ethnic cloth weaving. And both Cham men and women make pottery for their own use and for selling to tourists and others. 3.1.4 Binh Thuan Province 184.108.40.206 Tuy Phong District Tuy Phong District belongs to Binh Thuan Province, which is located in the south central Vietnam. The district has miscellaneous geography, climate condition with a variety of livelihood and industry. The district has 2 towns located in the lowland areas, and 10 other communes located in the mountainous, hilly areas and the coast. The total population is 147,367 people, of which 74,454 are female. Besides the majority of Kinh group the, Cham ethnic group is living in the district with a high number of 5,347 (2,837 are female) and the other 1,041 Ra Glai ethnic people is living in there as well. The population in the 2 towns are very high with more than 30,000 people (14,686 female) in Lien Huong Town and more than 38,000 people (less than 19,000 female) in Phan Ri Cua Town. The female population in this town is less than male population, while the rural communes have more female than male. The economic structure of the district is changing, focusing on more industry, construction, commerce, services, tourism while it is still remaining on agriculture, fishery, and forestry. The Thermal Power Plant and Textile Plant are based in the district areas creating jobs and services developed in the areas but causing the public concerns on pollution and other environmental impacts. There are more than 240 enterprises of small and medium size and 6 bigger companies with more VND 50 billion as capital per each. In addition, more than other 4,000 households have developed their own shops and business for years. Notably, more than 30 sea product processing enterprises are operating in the area. Although there is not official statistics telling the statistics of men and women in business but according a local expert, more than half of the business units are owned and managed by females. Beside 4,000 hecta of rice, the district has grown some particular special products such as Mu Trom (Trom milk) from Trom trees (450 hectors), Dragon Fruit (210 hectors), Grape (150
hectors) and Tiny Chilly or Bird Chilly (5 hectors). Many of these products are made and traded by women. Animal farms of different sizes are present in the areas, most of family small size farms of chicken, duck and pig are managed by women while the bigger farm of sheep, cows are managed by men. The two biggest farms registered under company occupying more than 200 ha are Thien Y and Viet Farm. 220.127.116.11 Lien Huong Town as case study of gender analysis The gender case study is conducted in Lien Huong Town. The town is located in the area where the national road 1A goes through and is near the coast. The strength of the town is business. There are totally 93 enterprises based in the town areas with various products, including rice, food stuff, peanuts, and seafood. Around 15,384 male and 14,686 female are living in the area, of which 10,384 male and 9,834 female are in the work age. Rice planting is still popular in the area with the total areas in 2015 is 1,130 hectors, the second largest rice area in the district. Three agriculture cooperatives led by three men are operating in the town mainly providing the technical services to the local farmers. Since the last 20 years, around 30 % of the town’s rice area has been converted into Dragon Fruit areas. The town is not encouraging the conversion anymore because of the imbalance between the supply and consumption of Dragon Fruit, causing the low profit in planting this fruit. 3.2 Policies
and/or programs on women economic development
There is not a clear gender equality strategy or policy in the four study areas. Beside CEDAW committee, WU is the most important organization taking care of women’s development and gender equality. Every year WU has done a lot on women and for women. However, the activities done are politically obeyed and embraced with gender prejudices. There may be a critique for its lack of practical focus of WU’s work. Box 3: Women Union at most level.
To Assist the government and the party to communicate and implement the state’s policies and programmes.
To protect the rights of women members
Key annual general tasks (specific areas may have slightly different tasks) : (1)
Capacity building for women to response to the new development (Activities: propaganda & communication through loudspeaker, commitment signature about women traffic law, fire law, women and their dignity in initialisation and modernisation, learning and following the good practice of President HCM, etc.
Support for women have “a family with enough food and clothes, happiness and progress”. (Activities: Propaganda and communication and commitment signature on the campaign “Say No to 5 and Say Yes to 3” meaning (no poverty and starvation; no law violation; no social evils; no third birth; no children quitting schools and bearing malnutrition and Clean in kitchen; clean in house; clean in neighbour) ”; organising clubs of good mothers; propaganda on Vietnamese people consumes the Vietnamese products
Support women in economic development, job creation and income generation for women, environmental protection. (Activities: implementing Saving and credit programmes; monitoring the poor women headed families; providing technical training for the borrowers; building new countryside style under the national programme of new countryside; propaganda on governmental policy on job creation, environmental protection, climate change mitigation; etc.)
Organisational development and institutional strengthening (Activities: Evaluation and review the organisations at lower level, promoting the number of women in politics.
Monitoring and giving social critiques on government policies and programmes relating gender equality. (Activities: monitoring the targets and the results of women’s participation in politics, proposing the gender benefit in health insurance policies, land allocation policies, coordinating with CEDAW committee to conduct review and monitoring the gender equality indicators and targets.
International cooperation for gender equality, development and peace building, national security and social orders. (Activities: implementing the foreign funded projects)
Source: Webpage of Vietnam Women’s Union and annual reports of Women’s Union of the study areas. In Quang Binh, many men staying the area have got some training on gender equality organized by NGOs such as International Plan, they believe that in urbanization and moderation society, men and women should be equal in all aspect and they talk a lot about sharing household work with their wives. Conversely, when women are decision makers, some intension may happen in reality. It means that the knowledge on gender is changed through trainings, but it does not mean the comfortable attitude and practice is happening. There are some services providing agriculture inputs for farmers in An Hai commune of Quang Binh. A few of agents of seeds, pesticides and fertilizers have started providing materials to the farmer before each crop. The services offer home delivery service and get the payment after the harvest. The price is usually higher. While many people find that they lack of knowledge on pesticide and fertilizer, the decision to use what kind of pesticides is on the agents. Because of lack of capital, many rice farmers and animal raisers become more dependent to these agents. In addition, two agriculture cooperatives are providing significant services to the farmers. The cooperatives are managed by men and have functions to provide services on water irrigation,
fertilizers, electricity, sanitation, technical and technology services, weather forecast and market access. The women benefit from some technical training of the cooperatives but women roles are under estimated by the cooperatives, traditionally considered as maledominated operation. Box 4: Agriculture cooperatives and Alliances of cooperatives in Vietnam. Agriculture cooperatives and Alliances of cooperatives in Vietnam have been existing in Vietnam and work as communal economic units. The cooperatives are managed on the basic characteristics of communal economy, co- ownership, self - responsibility, independence, justice and democracy. The members of cooperatives are the individual members and the members of cooperative alliances are the organisations of cooperatives. The members join the cooperatives and the alliance of cooperatives in order to share holds and use the services and products of the cooperative and to support each other in their production and trading work in order to meet their demands. In addition, the members can cooperate in sharing their experience, sharing risks, networking. The new laws on cooperatives 2012 8 highlights the rights to upgrade a cooperative to be an enterprise when it is developed up to some point. The new law also clarifies some the government policies supporting the cooperatives in the infrastructure development, land use, price subsidy, seedling and other risk management assistance. At the moment, the cooperatives and alliance of cooperatives have more than 13 million members all over Vietnam. The cooperatives and the alliance of cooperatives are making effort to develop more cooperatives in every single rural commune. In order to meet the new demands of the individual members in the new market economy, the cooperative will focus on developing more trading centres to market the products and new model of cooperatives that strengthen the value chain of the key local products. The financial arrangement of the cooperatives is budgeted for (1) development and investment fund of less than 20% of the total, (2) risk management fund of less than 5% of the total and sharing to shareholders who are paid based on the calculation of the amount of the services, products they used from the cooperatives or the amount of their contribution to the cooperatives. The cooperatives have membersâ€™ congress to meets periodically for reviewing the last operation and selecting the members to be in the important positions. The board and the director are the key actors running the operation and making plans. In addition, there is a controlling committee or a controller, who have a role to monitor and check the quality of the cooperativeâ€™s work. Although the justice and fairness is the most important characteristic in cooperatives, women are the worst representative in the cooperativeâ€™s important positions. Most of the members of the board, the directors running the cooperatives are male, who tend to prefer the technology transfers and technical services. The observation from the field shows that many operation services of the current local cooperatives are likely to be technique oriented , not market oriented. This is a gap that needs to be filled in the future development of the cooperatives, bringing better and fairer benefit of the members of men and women.
Photo 1: members of cooperative alliance (mainly men) from webpage Source: Law on cooperative 2012 and field observation The SRI project has also been working well in Binh Dinh, where the government wants to upscale this method. The method has helped both men and women in their farming activities. Men are the one who care much about the cowing raising, yet women benefit from the project as well. In a long term, the Tuy Phuoc District wants to develop service sector that promote market for local agriculture products. In Ninh Thuan Province, beside the IFAD programme on the Tam Nong requiring the participation of women in agriculture programme, a Belgium - funded saving and credit programme has been operating since 2011 to give assistance to local women. Each woman can get the loan from 6 million VND to 11 million VND. The interest is low compared with the commercial banks. The district has already invested a big amount to develop the two traditional handicraft villages for Champ in an effort to develop these places to be destination for tourism. In addition, the district has constructed a gallery aiming to bring the traditional products and connect with the tourist markets. According to the chairman of Phuoc Dan Town, the handicraft is a big help for local ethnic women to earn daily income. Besides, the apple and grape, the district also want to develop more sustainable agriculture which are relevant to women’s skills and experiences such as bio chicken raising, asparagus vegetables. In Binh Thuan province, an NGO named “The Terre Des Home Germany (TdH)”, working for children suffering from poverty, exploitation or violence came to Tuy Phong district in 2007 to support the women who care for their children protection with a micro finance project named “life improvement for women and children in disadvantaged areas”. The credit fund is now up two billion dongs and managed by the district women’s union. The fund aims to support local women to get access to credit to be able to start business and animal raising. Until now, about 670 women in Tuy Phong have accessed to this fund, each can borrow a loan between 5 million dongs to 10 million dongs. Although Binh Thuan province does not many specific policies or program aiming to empower women in economics, but the people working in District people’s committees have a strong belief and trust in women working in economics. According to the head of agricultural division (male), he said that many local development plans are relevant to female strength such as plans for development of the Trom Milk, Tinny
Chilly. He believes that women are a preferred workforce for those products in both planting process and its post harvesting process. Women are identified as skillful, impatient and hard working in longer hours and they can work well in planting and harvesting the tinny chilly and Trom milks. In addition, they are also “good with money” so that they are relevant to the trading affairs of these products. 3.3 Gender role and division of labor 3.3.1 Task division within the household and community In all four study areas, women are the one who take care of majority of reproductive role. Women involves the care and maintenance of the household and its members including bearing and caring for children, food preparation, water and fuel collection, shopping, housekeeping and family health care. In most of the women’s discussion, we find that women are bearing almost household tasks. Men’s groups, especially in Binh Dinh and Quang Binh claims their contribution in taking care of around 10 to 30% of family chores and children’s education. Table 3: Household tasks done by women and men Reproductive role Women - Shopping food for the whole family Chores members - Cooking meals - Cleaning house, clothes - Bathing for small children, feeding the small children, bringing them to schools, lullabying children - Giving birth Hours spent for 5 hours/ day household tasks Source : field data from female groups discussion in Binh Dinh
Men - Picking children at schools - Cleaning the house when wife is busy
While the farming males take care a small part of reproductive tasks, the business male hardly share this task with their life partners even though they understand well the hardship of business women bearing the gender roles. Some field observation shows that more male farmers (especially in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh) have gained training on gender equality and they are happy to share their family work. The business males are as busy as their wives and they don’t want to involve in the family chores. Many business males find acceptable if their wives hire a maid to take care of the domestic tasks. Popular traditional saying “men build house, women build home”. Ironically, social prejudice compels women in the confudialism framework of four words (“Công” : Do many domestic things with good quality; “Dung”: Neat and humble physical appearance; “Ngôn”: Speech gently with refrain from violence and anger; “Hạnh” : Inner beauty) which have tied both business women and farming women to the domestic responsibility. Both males and females find the task division fixed and culturally decided. Mothering is the wholly responsibility for
women. For many women, reproductive work is crucial to family survival and they have nothing to complain about these tasks. Men in Quang Binh tend to go out and go far away from home to work for short-term wage and long-term salary. Women staying home have a labor burden taking care of farming activities, family tasks and community work as well. It is hard for women to fuller participate in economic and trading affairs when their workload is triple in an absence of their husbands. More and more women go out for community work and expose to social activities and political participation. Many women participate in community meetings for their own knowledge and information. The meetings mainly cover the topics relating to the local social orders, the communist party and state’s policies and guidelines. In many cases, the training invitations are often to the "head of household." but women participated because their "heads of households" were not at home (Quang Binh) or women have to join on behalf of their partners who do not want to join (Binh Thuan Province). Table 4 :The contribution of farming women and men described as followed Community work Women Village meeting Quang Binh Cultural and sport performance Mobilizing women to campaign “Say No to 5 and Yes to 3” Cleaning the neighborhood (50%) Binh Dinh Participating in training, village meeting (60%) Attending the parties (wedding, death anniversary, etc.) (40 % ) Participation in politics (30%) Mobilizing community in joining the community campaign (60 %)
Cleaning the neighborhood Cooking for community’s parties Participating in the training Participating in training Participating in community meeting
in community work can be Men Sport and cultural performance (Less than women because the men only do this off seasonal period) Cleaning the neighborhood (50%) Participating in training, village meeting (40%) Attending the parties (wedding, death anniversary ..) (60%) Participation in politics (70%) Mobilizing community in joining the community campaign (40%) Making road Participating in the training
Source : Women’s group discussion on community role played by farming men and women Businesswomen in all provinces contribute to social charity in cash and they hardly have time for participating in community meetings and affairs. In the business families, men tend to join the social and community work more than women do.
3.3.2 Task division in production activities and economic development/business Women take active roles in farming activities in most provinces. Many female farmers in Quang Binh Province have to take lead in farming and undertake the family and community work because their husbands find work far away from home in an effort to make their ends meets. The field study in An Hai commune, Quang Ninh district, Quang Binh province shows that women play a major role in rice farming, which is the most important livelihood activity for the local commune. Women are the one who do the majority of selection of the rice variety, cleaning the rice field, making soil and sowing. These kinds of work are associated to women and marked as female’s work because the social assumptions believe that only women are good and efficient in this kind of skillful and time consuming work. Nowadays, women are also in charge of irrigation, fertilization and even pesticide spraying during the cultivation process in the absence of their husband or because their husbands wants to spend time to work for others to gain extra wage to make the ends meet. Many traditional work associated to men are undertook by tractors, harvesting machine. The men who stay can take care of 60 – 70% of pesticide spraying work, 30% of work in transportation of rice, drying the rice. Women’s work become even harder in winter when they have to go out to the field to re- sow the seed because of the dead seed due to coldness and when they have to spray more often because the disease is growing due to the humidity. In the seasonal time (sowing time and harvesting time), women spend more than 8 hours/ a day out to the field. The leading role of women in rice farming is also reinforced by the earlier gender analysis of SNV on rice farming and value chain (Hong Hanh, 2013). In addition to rice farming, women in Quang Binh also do the majority of animal husbandry, which brings the second income for their family. Women groups say that they take care of 80% - 90% of pig caring in their family - scale farms. The key task involves planting, and cutting the grass for cows. The men groups are proud of their ability and contribution to the bigger farm of pigs and other animals, especially men take active role in monitoring animal diseases and request for medical care for the sick animals. This process requires knowledge and science and women are usually unconfident in this term, therefore they are dependent on men especially in the context of climate changing conditions causing more risks to the animals. The survey in Quang Binh also show that when men tend to go out and go far away from home to work for short term wage and long term salary, women have a labor burden taking care of farming activities, family task and community work as well. It is hard for women to fuller participate in economic and trading affair when their workload is triple in an absence of their husbands. In Binh Dinh, the economy has been experiencing more integration and free market, women are expected to get more involved in earning income. Many women are overloaded because they have to work in long hour in a day, have very little time for resting and self – development.
Table 5: working day of farming women and business women in Binh Dinh Working day of a farming women Working day of a business women Normal day for a female farmers Normal day for a female working on many activities (not in businessperson running a shop of the season of sowing seeds and many stuff (small scale business) harvesting) 5am : getting up, sometimes getting up earlier when the customers comes and asks 2am: wake up to bring water to for chickens for service and back to sleep. 6’30 am: go to the market to buy foods, 5am: get up to prepare food and feed for prepare food children and to prepare food and feed for the 7am – 22 pm : running business all day, pigs. serving the customers, communicating with 6’30: go to the markets to shop for food and the supplier, cleaning the shop household needs. at 10’30 am : take time to cook lunch for the 7 am : Working in the rice field until 9 am family 9am : Bathing the pigs at 5’30pm: take time to cook dinner for the 10 am -11am: preparing food for the family family, cleaning the house. and feeding the pigs After 22 pm : sleeping . 12 am: having lunch, watching TV, weaving (no weekends break/holiday) plastic chair for extra income until Normal day for a women running a 2 pm: working in the rice field until 4pm bigger business (in Rice) 4 pm : picking up the children from the 5 am: getting up, Buda praying and morning schools, kindergarten exercise 5 pm: preparing food for family and feeding 6 am: getting the business ready, giving tasks for pig to the workers 6 pm: having dinner and watching TV, 6’30 am: going to the market, buying food continuing weaving plastic chairs until for both family and workers sleepy. 8 am - 7pm: serving the customers, managing Note : Seasonal day (sowing and harvesting the stocks and workers. periods) : Women have to work more in the 12 am: having lunch while communicating field for around 10 hours/ day, they tend to and serving customer if yes. buy “ready to eat” food for the family, and Take a rest for 5 -10 minutes during the take less care of animals. lunch break. In the evening : working on money and finance 22pm: going to bed. On Saturday and Sunday, going out with family. Source : In depth interview with farming women and business women in Binh Dinh In all provinces, families working in business have been working very hard. Especially for the new start – up business, women have to work in long hour with intensive pressure to make the business work. In this period of business, women hesitate to hire labors to work for them in family and business because of financial pressure. Therefore, they have to take care most of
the tasks. Many husbands of businesswomen involve in business but some wants their own job not relating to their wivesâ€™ business. Table 6: Roles of women and men in business family Roles of women in business family Roles of Men in business family Managing financial flows and managing the Technical and technology care cash Controlling the quality of the husked rice Managing the workers Arranging stores and transportation. Communicating the customers, taking orders, Pricing Source: In depth interview in Binh Dinh In Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan and Binh Dinh Province, there are some women successful in business, making good contribution for family and society and gaining respect from their husband, family members and community. Most of successful business families led by women are able to afford for their children (at least two children) to study in abroad and in the big cities like HCM city with high cost. Most of the educated children have become good citizens, some of them are working in the big companies inside the country or abroad. A few come back to their family business and help to manage the familyâ€™s business. The men joining in the business in Binh Thuan show that they really respect and appreciate the effort made by their wives to make the business work profitably. The reality shows that when their financial status is better off, both men and women are comfortable to spending money for the traditional family affairs such as death universities, family union parties, supporting the family members in needs. Everybody in the big families is happy. In addition, women doing well in business are more likely to be smart in communication and have good behavior to their beloved so that they can gain the good reputation from society, family and community. A few successful women are selected to be political positions. Ninh Thuan is famous for ethnic handicraft of ethnic weaving and pottery of the Cham. Both products are locally done by women in Ninh Thuan. According to the womenâ€™s group discussion, the women spend eight hours a day to work on weaving a piece of cloth. The products are sold to the local middle women who may bring to market in the other ethnic people in Daklak, Dalat, Daknong provinces in Central Highlands. Some products are locally sold by the middle women as well. Cham women spend a lot of time in sowing the soil, stamping the soil, firing and finishing the potery products. Women are also take part in decorating the product and selling them. Cham men are responsible for selecting the soil, bringing the soil home. Men are often the one who design the products and monitoring the firing process. Men also take care of big order in trading the products to the markets. It is assumed that the work done by Cham men in pottery requires knowledge and technical expertise. Big order is taken by the men because the men believe that their wives is not clever enough to deal with the big trade, especially the trade with the clients far away requiring better communication skills.
Many conversations with women show that Cham women are good at handicraft, good business skills with honesty nature, building more trust. Women are good image of cultural performers with handicraft. 3.4 Access, control, ownership and use of productive assets and resources for production and economic development/business Both men and women can equal access to land, water and other benefit but women have less control over the resources and benefit. Women have a more friendly manner in using the natural resource, the time â€“ consuming behavior that they remain practicing over the years is valuable to natural resources. Men are more technically, mechanically and chemically oriented and prefer less time- consuming methods. The co decision - making and discussing together is popular argument to justify for the gender justice in most places and among the Kinh people. Women groups believe that whatever the discussion between husband and wife start, men are more likely to be the final decision makers. The men group is confident that every decision they make is based on the discussion and agreement of their life partners. When sitting in a mixed group, both men and women agree that husbands and wives earn their income, women keep the family income and can make decision on how to use the money up to a point. The decision power on how/ what/ where/ when/with whom to use the resources and benefit lie in menâ€™s hands and this is more acceptable to women in the farming and poor families. In the other side, the businesswomen who have more power and skills can negotiate in different ways to get their decision made and satisfactory to their husbands. Table 7: Access to and Control over resources Resources Access to and benefits Women Men Planting, sowing Building house, Land seed, weeding with making cages hand, enrich the soil for cows, with compost, pouching with making cage for tractors, enrich pigs the soil chemical fertilizers, spraying pesticides and herbicides Using tape fresh Operating the Water water for domestic water canals use, taking from rivers to underground water water the rice by hand for field watering the small
Men Making decision what and how to use the land
Decision on Decision on using using canal for underground watering water
Resources and benefits Cash
gardens Keeping the money and spend it for family expenses such as foods, spiritual offering to ancestor, schooling fees, family bills 1 hour maximum for music program and movies
for Motorbikes Using marketing, bringing and picking up children, going to festivals/funeral and party
Using the Decision on Decision on big money for big small spending spending investment such as house upgrading, tables 2 hours/ a day for news
Decision what kind of TV to buy, where to put the TV Decision to buy, to lend and to sell the motorbike
Using for bringing and picking up children, going to festivals/funeral and party Source :Focus group discussion by Mixed group of men and women in farming sector in Binh Dinh 3.5
Opportunities and constraints for women taking lead in production activities, in business and in community
The fact whether or not women taking lead in farming activities is not a big concern for both men and women. The most important finding in this study is that in the most parts of the study areas and among the Kinh people, more and more men believe that women should involve in business. Although it has been culturally constructed in diving the tasks in production and farming process, farming women can start to take part in trading and doing business on their products if their husband support and feel comfortable with them. The opportunity is the husbandâ€™s view on womenâ€™s role in business. When husbands are supportive, women will feel more comfortable and try to start the business. The other important opportunity for women involving in economic activities is the information flows which the women can get through internet and through exchange meetings. Womenâ€™s new role in community is improved so that they have more opportunity to go out and meet people and gain information from them. Especially, the places like Binh Thuan, there have been successful women doing business. These women should become role models for the others to take a trial in business. Furthermore, women are identified as reliable and trustful based on the experience of many credit and loan programs. Women are the one who are considered as safe borrower to many financial institutions including both social policies banks and commercial banks. With this
trust and reliability, women can get easy access to loans and credits if they want and feel confident the effectiveness of the loans. In many cases, businesswomen are more likely to have better access to loans because they are in the names of the red books of their enterprise’s lands and properties. But female famers have less access to loan because it require the ownership of the farmer’s property such as lands which is mostly inherited from parents are not named under female.
Table 7: Advantages and advantages for women taking lead in farming/ production and in business Advantages Quang Binh Province Women are hardworking, open to learn Financial management skills of women Women have been trained in animal raising An urge in women to start business to change lives Good infrastructure for transportation Government’s support to low price seed Changing attitude to gender equality and men are happy to share the household work
Disadvantages Not livelihood initiatives in the local areas to start the business Women are not confident in communication Women are bound themselves in household work and little time for education and training Lack of opportunity to get access to information Risk of animal disease Risk of climate conditions Concern’s on quality of seedlings, the quality and price of animal foods Lack of land.
Binh Dinh Province Women are hard – working and learning Women are skillful in financial management and cash flows Land and water are valuable Men and women are trained in gender equality Good Transportation systems Mechanics, vehicle can move on the fields thanks to good paths across the fields.
Ninh Thuan Province There are a few of good and successful women playing as a model for the others Children can help to get access to information through internet A number of credit program through social
Women are not strong in taking initiative and not confidents in making effort for business Agriculture cooperative’s support in SRI methods (50% of the cost) Vin Groups’ mother cow banks giving mother cow and getting back after her birth Vaccination government programme to raised animal Low carbon project supporting installation of biogas cooking systems Improved knowledge and attitude in gender equality Women are not confident to do the business Women lack of marketing skills, lack of skill in technical design Women hesitate to communicate with crowds Champa Women’s burden and pressure on
Advantages bank, agri-banks and a Development fund for Women Political instruction priorities women’s participation (eg: the Tam Nong programme of IFAD on agriculture, rural and farmer – Tam Nong require 30% of programme participants are women) Local government officers and agriculture extension officers are aware of the importance of women’s participation in farming and economic development. More women participating in political position, creating motivation and encourage women to work for economic development The Cham women are very honest and build trust The Cham women have passion in the handicraft and skillful in their traditional work Binh Thuan Province The current business women are quick and dynamic and they manage to get access to information, credit, loan The traditional business style is based on the sentiment ties and create a long term partnership between partners (farmers, fishermen and businesswomen) Good attitude and ethnic to trade on local safe product (safe processed seafood) 90% of WU’s member can access to credit and loan ranging from VND 10 million to 50 million, the other can access to social banks and commercial banks such as Sacombank, Vietcom Banks, Agri Banks. Some families can get access to governmental financial support in loaning to the big boatmen. Investment Fund through Investment and Development bank (loan from 1 to 2 billion of VND with low interest rate) Technology Development Fund through Department of Technology and Science Farmer’s Union, Agriculture cooperatives provide trainings on organic chicken and
Disadvantages their role in the family Women do not go to training because of their less confidence, their inability to argue in the training, or they are not namely invited as men are invited as a household head. The handicraft products are produced and sold without a good value chain governance, lack of value chain facilitator.
Household task and reproductive role take a lot of time from women Lack of confidence, so cautious that cannot make decision. Lack of skills in technology Lack of information on policies, programs that help women in economic development Some families do not have red book
Advantages Disadvantages pig raising, eel raising, organic vegetable Annual relief program after disaster (50 tons of rice seed are delivered after drought 2015) Society recognizes well the current successful businesswomen and see them as models for educating the others. Government officers are willing to guide with formalities so that women can access to credit and other services. Source : Field interview and focus group discussion 3.6 The socio-economic, cultural, religious norms and legal factors that underline differential gender position on economic development Gender ideologies set up by religion and culture play an important role for women economic development. Academically, gender relations are culturally, socially and historically structured and vary in different contexts of practices and ideologies which are embedded by other social hierarchies such as race and social class9 . With roughly 54 ethnic groups, Vietnam are in context of various cultures, religions, hence, it creates many point of views on women participation in economic activities. This research once again confirms a general gender context in Vietnam that women are forced and expected to manage domestic chores in addition to their productive and community work. In most cases, men are decision makers for how to use valuable property and investment. Women’s workload and subordination is so deeply rooted in patriarchy society, which is still dominant in the study areas of Central Vietnam. Many of the norms in the division of labour and the relationship between man and woman are rooted in Confucianism, where the man is the household head and the wife is there to support him. Men seemed to be content with the current division, whereas women would like more assistance from their men. However, it was pointed out that if gender norms were to change, this should start with the women, negotiating their space in the household. Another point was that men should be made aware of the physical and psychological burden women and role models would help men be more susceptible to change their current practices.
Most of the Kinh believe in budism and the Cham, especially the Cham in Ninh Thuan have a strong faith and belief in Balamon - brahman. Despite of the difference, these two religions share the similar value in samsara (eternal cycle of birth, suffering, death, and rebirth) and the relation between causes and effects (nhân quả). The Kinh families define men’s responsibility to take care of their religious spiritual tasks while the Cham families expect women to take 9
Agarwal, B. (1997). ''Bargaining'' and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household. Feminist Economics, 3:1, 1-51. doi: 10.1080/135457097338799 and Harders, C. (2011). Gender relations, violence and conflict transformation. Advancing conflict transformation: The Berghof handbook II. Opladen/Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich Publishers.
care of the traditional religious work. The Cham people respect the interactive relationship between human being and nature and they believe that everything on earth has a soul, therefore it is important to live in harmony with nature and protect the natural resources. Therefore, many traditional livelihood activities of the Cham people are dependent on the natural resource and mainly performed by women, who are supposed to be more respective to nature. Living in and within the Kinh group, being affected by the mainstream’s economic transformation, culture and religion with a long history of Confucianism, the matriarchy society of the Cham minority in Ninh Thuận is changing. With matriarchy ideology, the Cham ethnic women were traditionally supposed to be the leader of the family. They played both roles as breadwinner, a manager in the family. Women used to process more power and responsibility than men. But in the current social economic transformation process, some matriarchy characteristics have been affected by the Kinh patriarchy mainstream and the market economy flows. For instance, the traditional Cham’s handicraft of pottery was mainly done by traditional Cham women and just need little support from men. However, today, the pottery products are not only sold to local market for local use, they are sold for tourist and decoration purpose. This require more technical and artist skills. Women lack of technical skills, women have to ask much help from men. In many cases, this situation has converted the maternal society to male-dominated matriarchy. It means that the responsibility of taking lead in the family, caring about family income are on the Cham women’s shoulders but the Cham men become dominant in decision making. It is great important to empower this ethnic women group by seeing diversity and recognizing the difference in diverse economy and putting women in places where many politics of women’s places are fully accounted10.
4 CONCLUSIONS Vietnam has been integrating into the global market economy. Accordingly, gender roles and positions are changing in many places in specific context. The gender analysis is of great importance to understand better the differential gender roles and responsibilities, powers, privileges, rights in relation to Economic Development and the opportunities and constrains that affecting women’s participation in businesses, producer organisation or cooperatives, markets, leadership. The gender analysis study is conducted in 4 provinces including Quang Binh, Binh Dinh, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan using the qualitative methods with a case study in one commune in each province. The study finds the following important points conveying the general solution and specific solutions for each province on how to empower women in enterprise, which is the key strategy achieving gender equality and sustainable economic development in Vietnam.
McKinnona,K et al (2016). Gender equality and economic empowerment in the Solomon Islands and Fiji: a place-based approach. Gender, Place and Culture . http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2016.1160036
(1) The Vietnamese government have made effort to eradicate the discrimination of women in all aspects through institutionalize the policy papers, law documents and promoting women in politics. With gender quota system, Vietnam brings political rights closer to women and let them engage in national assembly and government offices. This openminded strategy somehow has contributed to facilitate the number of businesswomen time by time. A more practical focus of the WU and CEDAW is a need to enhance quality and the nature of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. (2) Women still takes active role in farming activities but their role is under estimated by men in Bình Thuan, Ninh Thuan and Binh Dinh. Many female farmers in Quang Binh have to take lead in farming and undertake the family and community work because their husbands find work far away from home in an effort to make their ends meets. (3) Business males tend to understand the hardship that their female partners have to suffer in business and family work but they hardly assist their female in family tasks. Women leading business find their husband the most influential actors making their business work. (4) Most household work is done by women in all four provinces, some male farmers in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh share partly this kind of work with their wife. Males in business families are likely to help their wives in business work, not in family work. (5) The co- decision making through “discussing together” is popular argument to justify for the gender justice in most places but differently explained by social groups in specific context. Women groups believe that whatever the discussion between husband and wife start, men usually are the final decision makers. The men group is confident that every decision they make is based on the discussion and agreement of their life partners. Women earn their own income, keep the family income and can make decision on how to use the money up to a point. Both men and women can equal access to land, loan, livestock and water but women have less control over the resources. (6) Female work in agriculture is more likely to work in manual and time - consuming work while their male work outdoor and assist in farming work with tractors, harvesting machine or hired labor. (7) More and more women go out for community work and exposed to social activities and political participation. Many women participate in community meetings for their own knowledge and information but there are some cases that women are pulsed on behalf of their partners who do not want to join. In many cases, the training invitations were often to the "head of household." but women participated because these "heads of households" were not at home. Businesswomen contribute to social charity in cash and they hardly have time for participation in community meetings and affairs. (8) Government policies at all level is open to the free market and economic impulse for development, the new economic structure including service sector and commerce sector where female contribution and strength is found share the equal ratio with the other
emerging sectors such as construction, industry. Trust is built within the family members and community when women perform well in their business and earning good money. (9) Managing the gender roles and challenge the gender relations is up to women and their ability to use their time efficiently and to negotiate with their partners about decision. (10) Both males and females find the task division fixed and culturally decided and nothing to complain. Economic empowerment seems to be the key to challenge the gender relation and enhance the gender equality. (11) There is no significant social constraints for women to join the cooperate line, earning their own income and run a business. In many case they start business based on their family tradition and experience. Men and women contribute to the shared goal of business but labour burden for women seem to be the issue when starting business. (12) Agriculture cooperatives are missioner to bring just benefit to the members, including women. However, there seems to be little women representative in the management structure and the its operation is gender blind with the more focus on technical and technological service given by male leaders and for male members
5 RECOMMENDATIONS 5.1 General
recommendations for the project
(1) Strengthening WU as a change agent for women’s economic empowerment, which is confirmed by most participants as the key to gender equality. The current activities of WU at all levels are so broad that they lack of focus on practical responses to women’s needs and women’s economic empowerment. Therefore, it is important to work on organisational strengthening and institutional development for WU. Through strategy and planning workshops, the WU, especially the member in economic section of WU can be trained and learned how to enhance their capacity and to find out what are the strategic priority to promote gender equality and empower women in enterprise. (2) In each province, the key products should be identified and the cooperatives of each product should be facilitated to develop a value chain of that product. The cooperatives should work on gender lens and with women’s leaderships where possible. The safe and sustainable production process is an important chain of this product’s value. (3) Capacity building for both current women’s entrepreneurs and potential ones. Business skills, marketing skills, communication skills are the key agenda for training/ exchange/ workshop for women who have already in enterprise or want to be entrepreneurs. 5.2 Recommendation 5.2.1
for future intervention of the project in each provinces To Quang Binh Province
(1) Rice value chain development and governance where women create fair rice market, agriculture cooperatives are more women and gender sensitive, female farmers gain more justice. The project can try to strengthen the cooperatives in particularly in delivering services in a more gender sensitive way and develop a professional female group who will promote the marketing role of the cooperatives, or to strengthen the value chain of rice products. In Quang Binh, the cooperative position is high in technical service but their position in providing good access to market is low. The professional arrangement of the cooperatives should be reviewed and restructured to put more effort and capital on rice buying and selling service, which is strong point of female members. By doing so, in far future the cooperatives can become stronger in getting the farmer to access to the market. Also a good female facilitator for a fair value chain of rice can help to bring better and fairer benefit men and women. The project can continue SRI method but should move from technical process to marketing process. The female rice agents (buying raw rice and sell husked rice) should be connected and there should be mechanism where farmers and rice agents and cooperative can negotiate a fair market for all. (2) Safe and sustainble farming practice for women While womenâ€™s role in farming activities is changing, beside the traditional tasks women tend to involve in more intensive and chemical work (ploughing and pesticides) in an absence of their husband. The safe labor practice should be trained for women for their safety. A more environmentally friendly cultivation methods and practices should be introduced to women so that less risks to their health and environment. (3) Further study on starting up business for women Starting up a business for local women seems to be a big challenge when women are overloaded with triple tasks in absence of the husbands. A further study should be done to get better understandings on how, with whom the project should work with to intervene on this business start â€“ up. The current businesswomen can be asked to shared their experience on how they start the business in their own context and provide lessons for the others and to build confidence for the women. (4) Small scale farming, handicraft for the poor, women headed families and the disables. The female farmers, female head families, the disable who has less land, can seek more opportunity to earn extra income such as bamboo weaving in Thong Nhat Village, broom making in Kim Nai, Cao Xuan, Dai Huu Villages, raising fish in the rice field. A further study how to develop this activity should be done to find good markets. (5) Behavior change and practical practice of gender equality. To address the strategic gender needs, it is important to continue to educate men in order to change behavior and practice for real gender equality. Children and young men should be included in the training, training workshops on gender equality. The exchange visit to the good practices can be considered to include men in farming and business to join. 5.2.2
For Binh Dinh Province
(1) Start – up business for women The project can help women who have started up or to develop their business by helping them to decide what job most relevant to each, what product most unique and competitive and making a “SMART business plan”. Based on SMART business plan, women are empowered to negotiate with their husband and gain his support in business, Smart business plan should take into account the workload for women and potential involvement of men. There should be platforms to share to the others and build confidence among the women who have interest in business. (2) Safety in food and farming for all It is fair for both men and women to gain knowledge about food safety and sustainable farming and get assured of safe food and sustainable products. The project can work with technical agencies or agriculture cooperatives to check and control the production process and to enhance the knowledge on food safety and sustainable farming for both men and women (knowledge on pesticides, knowledge on organic farming, etc.). In addition, some pilot associations and networks to perform the good practice such as Clubs of “Women and organic farming” and “Women and food safety”. (3) Businesswomen’s champion. Women successful in enterprises can participate more in politic, raising voice on behalf of local women. The project can lobby with the local institution to work on updating and monitoring data in women’s leadership in economic. The local authorities and politicians are enabled to be aware of the women’s participation and their contribution.
(4) Capacity building for women in communication skills, technology, business skills. The project can hire sale persons, CEO to do this. (5) Empowering and capacity building for Economic Section of WU at district and provincial level to promote women’s economic empowerment professionally (not politically), to protect the women’s rights and to lobby to the government policies and policy frameworks to enhance the enabling environment. (6) Education for youth , men and women on gender equality, gender based violence 5.2.3
To Ninh Thuan Province
(1) Champa costume traders. At the moment, a group of the Champa women are bringing ethnic traditional costume made from Ninh Thuan to Highlands’s ethnic areas to sell at doorsteps of the ethnic minority over there). It is good if the project try to strengthen this group of Cham women in Khu Pho 6 to become professional traders. To do a good business and trading, the Kinh clothes have been included in their sale, so small groups of local tailors can be a good supplier for these traders beside the Champa’s costume makers. (2) Apple and grape processing group
Apple and grape is currently sold fresh to the middlemen and women who transport and sell these products inside the province or outside. The project can study further about the processing path of the products, after the analysis, women may be found a good contributor of this process. If so, a good value chain for VietGap Apple and grape should be strengthened to have better governance and fair market (Mainly the Kinh group doing this) (3) Champa Women with pottery and ethnic cloths. Maximising the government support for traditional handicraft village (Bau Truc Portery Handicraft Village and My Nghiep Ethnic Weaving handicraft village) , fair markets with cultural performance in tourist places in Nha Trang , the project can study further on these two value product to ensure the intervention of the project can bring benefit to local ethnic minority both economically and culturally. (4) Good practice of government policies favoring womenâ€™s economic development. Ninh Thuan can be potential good practice for empowering women in economic activities and enterprises because it has already got IFAD gender sensitive programme and many technical officers in government offices are aware of the gender issue in agriculture. An approach to promote the practice in other sector and in deeper manners is a good strategy for the projects, aiming to creat enabling environment for women participation in enterprise and economic activities. The approach to enabling environment should be well connected to the value chain with involvement of more business actors such as VCCI. 5.2.4
To Binh Thuan Province
(1)Mu Trom (Trom Milk) value chain development and strengthening. 450 ha of Mu Trom have been planted by people in Vinh Hao and Vinh Tan (in District planning develop up to 1000 ha). Trom Milk is for healthy drinks and Cosmic. Two enterprises (Vinh Tan Cosmic Company and Vinh Hao Drink Company) are buying Trom Milk from the local farmers. These companies are selling their products on over the countries through wholesale at supermarkets, especially in HCM City or Mekong Delta. A few traders have been well established to sell the Trom milk in local markets or sell it to the other traders in Ninh Thuan and HCM. The cooperative of Trom Milk is planned to be established in order to connect farmers to the bigger market and provide technical services. The project can start the Mu Trom Cooperatives with women leadership to develop and strengthen the value chain of Mu Trom with sustainability and gender justice. (2) Ot Chim (Tinny Chili) value chain in Binh Thanh Commune The farmers growing the tinny chili is selling their product in restaurant, tourists. A few farmers can go to the supermarket to sell their product. The project can study the chain of this product for further intervention. (3) In Lien Huong, the Vietgap Dragon Fruit The female farmers who are tired of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Hence, they want to develop organic dragon and vegetables. It is important for the project to find an organic consumer and traders for organic dragon fruit. In addition, the project can connect the female
farmers with the organic farmers in Hoi An and Hue who have been successful doing organic vegetable and fruits for learning and linking. (4) Sea food processing value chain. The main labour contributing to the sea product processing is women. The project can conduct further study how to develop a sustainable and gender sensitive value chain of seafood such as Cutter fish.
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The integration of Vietnam into the global economy has been changing role of men and women in many places in many aspects. This report aims...
Published on Aug 26, 2016
The integration of Vietnam into the global economy has been changing role of men and women in many places in many aspects. This report aims...