Gender Equity in a Transforming Economy
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Since 1986, Vietnam has embarked on a comprehensive economic reform, known as Doi Moi, to liberalise the economy from a socialist centrally planned system to a more market oriented one. With the dismantling of social support provisions for women, the Doi Moi has deteriorated gender equality in Vietnam. Yet many trends post Doi Moi, such as expanded work opportunities and increased mobility, have been positive. This paper examines gender-based differences in employment for white-collar employees in state owned enterprises in the steel industry. It focuses on two issues: the different social expectations for women and men in relation to family care work and paid employment, and the impact this has on women's workforce participation; and organisational policies and organisational culture that present difficulties for women's employment and career advancement. This study offers evidence that Vietnamese women managers carry a double burden of responsibilities, attempting to combine their role as another breadwinner with the traditional role of daughter, wife and mother. Stereotypical perceptions of women's lack of managerial skills are widely held by both men and women. Even though the Vietnamese Government has successfully created an institutional context for the advancement of women's rights, its ability to influence gender relations and its capacity to promulgate equality has declined in the new economic system. Women's success is heavily reliant on individual will and commitment. Although some women have attained managerial and leadership positions, in general Vietnamese women still encounter challenges at work posed by the culture and traditions of society.
Women in Asia: Transition and Interchange: Conference Handbook
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Human Resources Management