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20 Topics for a Compare and Contrast Essay on the Changes of Women’s Role in Vietnamese Society

Writing a compare and contrast essay may be a fairly complicated task in case you aren’t exactly too familiar with general area of expertise you have to deal with. After all, in order to write a decent essay of this type you have to pick out a specific issue to cover, and it’s a hard thing to do if you have only a vague idea of the subject matter.

Women’s role in Vietnamese society is one of such issues; if you have to write an essay about it, you can benefit from using one of the topics from the list we’ve prepared:

  1. Vietnamese Women: The Past and the Present
  2. Changes in the Vietnamese Family Over the Last Thirty Years
  3. Vietnamese Gender Roles Traditionally and in Modern Times
  4. The Changes in Gender Pay Gap in Post-Doi Moi Vietnam
  5. The Vietnamese Concept of Feminine Ideal and Challenges of Modern Society
  6. Gender Relations in Pre-War and Post-War Vietnamese Society
  7. Women’s Entrepreneurship Evolution in Vietnam
  8. Changing Identity of Woman’s Role in Modern Vietnam
  9. Evolution of Women’s Educational Rights in Vietnam
  10. Vietnamese Family and Household in Pre- and Post-Revolutionary Vietnam
  11. Family and Woman’s Role in Post-Doi Moi Vietnamese Society
  12. Shift Towards Gender Equality in Vietnamese Society: 1980s and 2010s
  13. View on Single Women in pre-War and post-War Vietnamese Society
  14. Educational Gender Gap in post-War Vietnam and Now
  15. Women in Vietnamese Government in 1980s and Now
  16. Gender Discrimination in Post-War Vietnam and Today
  17. Vietnamese Abortion Law in 1960s and Today
  18. The Change of Gender Relations In Vietnam: before the Doi Moi and Today
  19. Gender Relations in Colonial and Post-Colonial Vietnam
  20. Role of the Family in Vietnamese Tradition as Opposed to Today

As you see, these topics are pretty good because they avoid generalization and focus on particular matters in the vast issue of women’s rights and social standing in Vietnamese society. For your reference, here’s a sample essay on one of these.

Vietnamese Women: The Past and the Present

Vietnam has always been and still is a peculiar culture in what concerns gender relations, jumping back and forth from matriarchal tendencies in the ancient times, to male dominance traditional for societies influenced by Confucianism, to proclamation of gender equality by the Communist party in 1930s, to gradual return to traditionalism after the revolution and war. It can be said that Vietnam is desperately trying to find its place and identity in today’s world, trying at the same time to be modern and conservative, socialistic and free market, gender-equal and supportive of traditional values. In this light it is interesting to take a look at how the position of women changed today when compared with what it was prior to Doi Moi.

Communist party of Vietnam has been a strong supporter of the idea of gender equality, proclaiming it one of their main goals in the very first party document as early as 1930s. The Women’s Union was a relatively powerful organization enjoying a governmental guarantee that it would be consulted about any law that concerned women’s health and well-being. After the formation of Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1949, a number of laws aimed at modernizing the gender and social relationships were accepted, such as paid maternity leave, equal pay for equal work and so on. Efforts were taken to eliminate the old practices of forced marriage, child marriage and concubinage, as well as to provide equal access to education irrespectively of gender.

However, in post-war conditions these initiatives rather quickly lost their momentum. After men began to return from war to their civil positions, the need in women working in industrial and agricultural sectors rapidly decreased, which was further aggravated by difficult economic situation and scarcity of resources. As a result, women to a large extent drifted back to their traditional roles.

Compared to pre-Doi Moi era, modern Vietnamese women enjoy a far greater degree of freedom and societal acceptance. There is a number of extremely wealthy women in business, they have a fair share of representation in government and a much better access to higher education that several decades ago.

However, Vietnamese society remains a highly traditionalistic one. An educated woman earning her livelihood and rising up the career ladder is often viewed in negative light by their husbands, male relatives, more conservative women and society in general. A turn to support for traditional values taken by the Communist party in 1990s and early 2000s also supports this sentiment – rapid modernization and decollectivization were viewed upon as detrimental to the traditional Vietnamese extended family.

All in all, despite a considerable move forward over the last several decades, Vietnam still has a long way to go in terms of gender equality. Women still occupy mostly low-paying positions in labor force, highly educated and high-earning women are often viewed with disapproval by society, and there is ample evidence of young girls being sold into forced marriages abroad. In other words, Vietnam still remains a country of contrasts, desperately looking for its identity in modern world.

References:

Andaya, Barbara Watson. The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2006. Print
Cohn, Julie. “A Tiny Village Where Women Chose to Be Single Mothers.” New York Times Feb. 14 2013
Haworth, Abigail. “From War Babies to Billionaires: Vietnam’s Wealthiest Women.” The Guardian Mar. 24 2013
Quasem, Himaya. “Tackling Gender Inequality in Vietnam.” The Guardian Nov. 22 2010
“Brides for Sale: Trafficked Vietnamese Girls Sold into Marriage in China.” The Guardian Jun. 29 2014
Schloppa, R. Keith. East Asia: Identities and Change in the Modern World (1700 to Present). Pearson, 2007. Print
Werner, Jayne Susan, and Khuat Thu Hong. “Too Late to Marry: Failure, Fate or Fortune? Female Singlehood in Rural North Viet Nam.” Gender, Household, State: đỏ̂i Mới in Việt Nam. Ed. Jayne Susan Werner and Danièle Bélanger. Cornell University, 2002. Print

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