If you are tasked with writing a compare and contrast essay on the changes of women’s roles within Vietnamese society, there are many things that you might want to cover. The first step is of course, selecting the topic that most speaks to you. Your goal in selecting a topic is to pick something that you are interested in. The more you are curious about a particular change that has taken place in that society, the easier and faster the research and writing process will be for you. You will also be able to put forth your personal passion for the topic into the work, something that will show through to your reader. When writing a compare and contrast essay, you can take any of the key issues you want and compare them to other issues, contrast them to other countries, to other services, or even to different ethnic groups. One of the main areas for discrepancy among any of the changes that have taken place with regard to women’s roles is that which exists between rural and urban women, as well as women who are of a minority ethnically or a majority ethnically. Almost all areas you might want to review can be compared or contrasted in these lights.
Below is a list of some interesting facts that you might be able to use in your compare and contrast essay:
- Today, women in Vietnam are represented widely in higher education, within the public sector, and in non-government organizations. There is still a glass ceiling for women, but they can nonetheless gain leadership or managerial positions.
- Women are free to travel in urban areas without many restrictions on the people with whom they can interact, where they are allowed to go, or how they must dress.
- Women today take credit for up to 50% of the workforce and labor growth of the country, particularly in the shoe, garment, and electronics factories which make up a substantial part of that workforce.
- Women have migrated from poorer, agricultural communities to work in factories that are unhealthy and overcrowded, but recently liberalized trade has opened up new markets and allowed women to start their own businesses.
- There are still gaps between men and women with regard to general health, economic performance, and educational attainment, but each of these three gaps has narrowed over the last few years as statuses for women in the country have improved.
- 60% of the adult women in the country are economically active and the mean hourly wages are between 85-90% of that earned by men. This compares to women having an average of just one year less of formal education compared to men. Additionally, women are more likely to live in poverty, to have been sick at least once over the last twelve months, or to live with disabilities.
- While there are many changes taking place in urban areas for women, the gender gaps remain at their widest in rural regions or among ethnic minority groups.
- Changes have taken place with regard to the access to credit made available to women. Today new banking interventions now allow private credit institutions the ability to offer credit to small and medium sized businesses, owned by men or women. This credit is now being offered by the State Bank of Vietnam making it easier for those businesses operating within an international framework.
- Trade functions as one area that offers women clear opportunities, but there is a lack of targeted support for those businesses owned exclusively by women which is why it has not been used to its highest capacity.
- Technical support has now been made available for those women who own businesses. There are local business associations in smaller areas comprised of the women who are starting businesses in those areas, but there is still no single beacon of service or support for women in the workplace.
- Labor conditions are different compared between rural and urban areas, as well as between the service, industrial, and agricultural sectors. These items are also influenced by the minority status of the women, whether or not they have disabilities, and their geographic location. Women in poorer areas often lack trade unions or political stability which results in better labor conditions or more opportunities for advancement.
- Vietnam recently became part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which means its citizens can now participate in regional trade and use legal frameworks that are pre-established. Overseeing this is Ministry of Trade which is overseen in almost all of its highest positions by men. Women are starting to gain positions within this department.
- Previously, businesses and enterprises owned by women were underserved and lacked access to the same opportunities as those owned by men. They were also subject to higher competition from businesses owned by men. The government does not maintain records of those businesses owned by women which makes it difficult, at best, to decide how well target programming is working, but with new partnerships with the WTO, this will be made easier and more regulated.
- Gender equality remains a core legal principle and as such gender bias is not apparent as a barrier to using formal dispute resolution processes in any legal problem. The reality, nonetheless, is that very few women actually use alternative dispute resolutions or the official court systems to resolve their disputes. There is a cultural aversion to the engagement of public disputes. What’s more, many businesses within the country lack formal written agreements, something which would be necessary for formal dispute resolution processes.
- In the country today, two thirds of enterprises in urban areas are owned by women and in rural areas nearly three quarters of enterprises are done by women. Many of these enterprises are small and lack information necessary to use formal dispute resolution processes. As a result, there is a risk that poor women, as well as those living in rural areas, and who are part of an ethnic minority do not have equal access to information about legal rights.
These facts are very important for you if you want to deal with this issue in your compare and contrast essay writing. So, don’t forget to look through them before completing your writing assignment.
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Knodel, John, et al. “Gender roles in the family: change and stability in Vietnam.” (2004).
Nguyen, Thi Quynh Trang. “Gender discrimination in the way the Vietnamese talk about face thê diên: Results from interviews with Vietnamese teachers.”Qualitative Research Journal 15.2 (2015): 147-154.
Zhou, Min, and Carl L. Bankston. “Family pressure and the educational experience of the daughters of Vietnamese refugees.” International Migration39.4 (2001): 133-151.
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