High rate of urban Vietnamese see gender equality in society: survey

By Sen    March 9, 2020 | 08:39 pm PT
High rate of urban Vietnamese see gender equality in society: survey
Women at work at a tech firm in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by AFP.
A high percentage of urban Vietnamese think there is gender equality in the country although the perception is stronger in Hanoi than HCMC, a survey has found.

The study, by HCMC-based market research firm Indochina Research, asked 501 people aged 18 to 54 in Hanoi and Saigon about whether gender equality has been achieved at home, work, politics, the media, and social settings.

Between 55 and 93 percent of the respondents said yes.

Hanoians perceived equality in more areas than Saigonese: work, media representation and home.

It's only in social settings where slightly more HCMC respondents feel gender equality is achieved than Hanoian respondents. 

When comparing the views between two genders in both cities, though, men perceive a significantly higher achievement of gender equality in almost every setting compared to women, especially in politics. Gender equality appears to be optimal at home, where there is no gap between two viewpoints.

Interestingly, there seemed to be a consensus there was gender equality at home with the workplace following not far behind.

Politics scored the lowest both by city and sex.

Vietnam and the Philippines scored highest in gender equality at home and work environments, out of 41 countries that participated in the World Win Survey on the global perception of gender equality.

It also explored the perception in countries like the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and South Korea.

Violence and sexual harassment

The survey also asked women respondents if they have suffered any kind of violence or sexual harassment. The researchers let the respondents read and answer questions pertaining to these issues on their own so that individual answers were not revealed, a researcher at Indochina Research said..

All the other questions were read out to them.

Out of 250 women in Hanoi and Saigon, only 3 percent said they had suffered violence. Not even one said they had faced sexual harassment.

The highest rates of women suffering from violence were in Chile (44 percent), Argentina (43 percent) and Peru (40 percent).

The findings are in stark contrast to an ActionAid study in 2014 that said 87 percent of women in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City had been sexually harassed at least once. It had polled more than 2,000 people.

Another survey it did in 2016, which also interviewed more than 2,000 people in five cities, said a majority of women in Vietnam did not feel safe about "being a women" in public places since harassment and even groping were not taken seriously by authorities.

According to the latest Global Gender Gap Report released by the World Economic Forum, Vietnam fell 10 places in terms of gender equality to 87th.

go to top