This research report on Vietnam is one of five country case studies that were commissioned by Oxfam GB to assess the impact of the global economic crisis on women in South East Asia. It concludes that women in the export-manufacturing sector, including the garment and textile industries, have been hardest hit by the crisis both economically and socially. Women migrant workers have experienced a double hit with a reduction in remittances and have become more vulnerable to problems such as trafficking and sexual harassment. Many women in Vietnam have moved from the formal sector to the informal sector, and rely on strategies such as job-sharing, informal credit, social networking and community-based assistance for survival. Some of the government's short-term measures ignore gender-specific concerns and miss important targets, particularly poor and newly poor women. This report recommends a shift in emphasis from macro-level policy solutions to micro-level ones, with an increased focus on vulnerable women. Key recommendations
- The government of Vietnam should provide better social safety nets to help mitigate the effect of the crisis on household incomes and to prevent inter-generational transmission of poverty, both from women to girls and from women to older women.
- The government should integrate gender into their budget processes, and ensure that existing labour laws are applied fairly to women workers, particularly in the garment sector.