With one of the highest rates of economic participation of women in the world, and the highest participation of women in parliament in the Asia Pacific Region, Vietnam is one of the more advanced countries with respect to gender equality. The country has appropriate policies to ensure equal rights of men and women and very significant progress has been made in reducing the gender gaps in health and education, and improving the situation of women more generally.
However, the progress is not entirely uniform and while progress was made, almost half of the targets in the second Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women (2002-2005) were not met. Moreover, with the transition to a more open market economy, the challenges to achieving gender equality are changing as the structure of the labor market responds to the rapid economic growth. While growth is bringing with it new opportunities, gender inequality in access to productive resources and training opportunities, limit the capacity of women to complete. The government and other stakeholders will now need to look forward with improved analysis to predict the trends and put the policies, institutions, and programs in place that will ensure women can benefit equally from the rapid development taking place.
The donor community in Vietnam will continue to fully support the government in these endeavors. This Country Gender Assessment, prepared by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UK Department for International Development and Canadian International Development Agency, provides the analytical background and a common framework for the donors and the government in tackling gender inequality in the future and to contribute to implementation of the government 10-year strategy for the advancement of women in Vietnam.