Viet Nam

GENDER AND COVID-19 VACCINES Listening to women-focused organizations in Asia and the Pacific

More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed across at least 176 countries, with over 1.7 billion doses administered worldwide. Combating the pandemic requires equitable distribution of safe and effective vaccines, however, women and girls are impacted by gaps both in the supply side and the demand side that hamper equitable distribution of the vaccine. Evidence reveals that 75 per cent of all vaccines have gone to just 10 countries, and only 0.3 per cent of doses have been administered in low-income countries. Very few of COVID-19 vaccines are going to those most vulnerable. The vaccine rollout in Asia and the Pacific has been relatively slow and staggered amid secondary waves of the virus. India, despite being the largest vaccine developer, has only vaccinated 3 per cent of the population and continues to battle a variant outbreak that, at its peak, was responsible for more than half of the world’s daily COVID-19 cases and set a record-breaking pace of about 400,000 cases per day.5However, the small Pacific nation of Nauru, reported a world record administering the first dose to 7,392 people, 108 per cent of the adult population within four weeks. Bhutan also set an example by vaccinating 93 per cent of its eligible population in less than two weeks. That success could be at risk, given the situation in India and the suspended export of vaccines. Read More...

STOP Southeast Asia Impact Reflections

Sexual harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature which could be expected to make a person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Female garment workers experience sexual harassment in their workplace, generally have limited legal protections, lack job security and work in an environment where there is often impunity for the harassment they experience. In Cambodia alone, sexual harassment costs in the garment industry USD $89 million per annum in lost productivity.

After four years of work, independent evaluations found the STOP project had assisted factory management to set up clearer guidelines and mechanisms for dealing with and preventing sexual harassment. It also empowered female workers to be confident to report sexual harassment incidents and become more aware of their rights. Read More...

Women’s involvement in coffee agroforestry value- chains Financial training, village savings and loans associations, and decision power in Northwest Vietnam

Colleagues in Vietnam and at CCAFS and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) carried out some research on our work in the coffee value chain (TEAL).

This study assessed VSLA impacts and related training on gender equality and women’s access to coffee markets in an ongoing coffee- project in northwest Vietnam.

Applying the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), women rated perceptions of their decision-making over a range of 18 tasks related to household and agricultural responsibilities and use of income and social activities (over 18 months). There were improvements in decision-making power in categories with previously low participation and increased sharing of domestic responsibilities (biggest gains were decision-making over large purchases and use of income). Also found that husbands to women in the study embraced more equal sharing of responsibility and decision-making with their wives.
This report is 40 pages long. Read More...

COVID-19 impact on Vietnamese apparel and footwear workers: Workers’ Perspective

In April 2020, the Public Private Partnerships Cooperation Group for sustainable apparel and footwear sector in Vietnam, consisting of over 40 members from the Ministries of Industry and Trade Natural Resources and Environment, Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and VITAS, LEFASO, brands, development partners and domestic and international NGOs, conducted a comprehensive assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the apparel and footwear sector. The aim of the assessment was to seek solutions from policy perspectives, social security, sustainable economic development, environmental protection and the role of stakeholders in the supply chain to mitigate impacts of the pandemic. One of the key components of the assessment is this analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on AFS workers’ lives conducted by CARE and sponsored by TARGET and the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in
the Netherlands (CNV). This report also references findings from the qualitative research conducted by the Center for Development and Integration (CDI).
Purposes of the assessment of COVID-19 impacts on apparel and footwear sector workers:
1. To analyze the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ lives in the apparel and footwear industry across three major areas: economic, health, and society with a focus on gendered impacts and employment relation.
2. To identify the needs of AFS workers, especially female workers, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. To provide recommendations to businesses, brands, associations, unions, governments and development organizations on supporting workers to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
The information and data included in this report represent the key findings of the COVID-19 impact
assessment study with specific policy implications for enterprises, trade unions and government. Read More...

A Social Impact Analysis of CARE’s ‘Enhancing Women’s Voice to STOP Sexual Harassment ’ Project

The Enhancing Women’s Voice to Stop Sexual Harassment project (STOP), an initiative of CARE Australia, has been working since 2017 to prevent and address the under-reported problem of sexual harassment in mainland Southeast Asia’s garment sector. At the time of writing, STOP is the only initiative that addresses this issue on a multi-country scale within the sub-region. Operating across a pool of garment factories in four Mekong countries—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam—STOP aims to enhance women’s voice and economic rights at both the national and factory levels. Based on a socio-ecological model of violence prevention, CARE Country Offices (COs) are working with participating factories to create workplaces where female workers feel safe and experience less SH through the implementation of standardised SH reporting mechanisms and rigorous training programs. Supported by CARE Regional staff, each CARE CO engages with relevant country, regional and international stakeholders to strengthen the national regulatory environment to promote laws, policies and mechanisms to address SH in the workplace.

In 2018, CARE Australia commissioned a consortium of researchers from UNSW Sydney and UNSW Canberra to undertake an independent evaluation the STOP project and provide a separate Social Impact Assessment (SIA) focused on Cambodia STOP as the particular case study. The SIA is intended to complement the findings of the Final Evaluation (FE) of the STOP, as implemented in the other three project sites. The SIA and the Final Evaluation should be read as two parts of a single whole. The UNSW team drew upon a range of evaluative sources including factory surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews with factory workers, middle management and government officials. A conceptual framework is also advanced in order to better capture the nuances of social impact and gender transformation, and to provide a rigorous basis on which to evaluate STOP’s development and implementation in Cambodia. [94 pages]. Read More...

Informed to Influence: Increasing ethnic minority women’s access to information for improved governance and development

“Informed to influence: Increasing ethnic minority women’s access to information for improved governance and development” in Vietnam which supported a Network of Civil Society Organisations to represent the interests of ethnic minorities in Northern Vietnam, strengthened the voice of ethnic minority women through livelihood and rights clubs and contributed to the implementation of the Law on access to information. Read More...

Regional Mekong Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19

COVID-19 has created unprecedented health, economic, and social impacts all over the world. As of 31 August 2020, there have been 25,405,845 confirmed cases globally, and a total of 849,389 deaths. In the Mekong region, there have been 5,612 cases, with 274 in Cambodia, 22 in Lao PDR, 882 in Myanmar, 3,390 in Thailand and 1,044 in Viet Nam. In addition to health effects and deaths caused by the virus, the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and prevention measures taken by governments are far reaching and long-lasting, especially in the context of climate change and natural disasters in the region.
For the Mekong region, COVID-19 presents special challenges for high-risk populations, including the many migrant workers, garment industry workers, indigenous and ethnic minorities, refugees, internally displaced peoples, migrants, urban slum-dwellers, and people working in the informal sector, such as female sex workers. As with all crises, women and children are disproportionately affected. COVID-19 exacerbates the challenges at-risk populations face and makes it even harder for women to access the support services they need in times of crisis.

This brief summarises the Mekong RGA, written by Athena Nguyen, Jordan Hoffmann, Laura Baines, Ratha Ra, Rebecca Elias, and Christina Haneef in September 2020. This Rapid Gender Analysis draws from 301 interviews (including 126 women), secondary data sources, and CARE’s research to understand women’s specific challenges in the Mekong region during the pandemic. Read More...

Ethnic Minority Women’s Empowerment in Vietnam

Women in remote ethnic communities in Vietnam are not equally benefiting from the remarkable economic growth over the past decade. They experience high levels of poverty, unequal participation in economic opportunities, limited options to adapt to changes in the climate, and have a limited voice in decisions that affect them. CARE’s Ethnic Minority Women’s Empowerment project (EMWE), supported by Australian Aid, works with ethnic minority women to overcome these challenges. Read More...

Vietnam Rapid Gender Analysis May 2020

Vietnam reported its first known case of COVID-19 on 23 January 2020. As of 19 May, the country had 324 confirmed cases, with 263 recoveries and no deaths.
In Vietnam, COVID-19 presents a range of contextual challenges including high numbers of migrant workers, high numbers of employees in the garment industry, many people working in the informal sector, and linguistically and culturally diverse ethnic minorities. The impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, such as migrant workers, informal workers, garment factory workers, and ethnic minorities are further marginalising these groups, exacerbating poverty and inequality and increasing their exposure to other social, economic and protection risks.
Women in Vietnam have historically been underrepresented in public decision-making processes, a trend that is reflected in high-level decision-making structures on COVID-19. This means that even as women are disproportionately affected by the crisis, they have less say in how their country should respond to it. Read More...

Technologically Enhanced Agricultural Livelihoods Mid Term Review

Launched on 1 July 2017, the Technologically Enhanced Agricultural Livelihoods project (TEAL) in Vietnam is a four-year project funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Australian NGO Cooperation (ANCP) initiative. The project has been implemented in four communes, two in Dien Bien province and two in Son La province.

TEAL is focused on supporting ethnic minority women coffee farmers to improve coffee production, processing, and market linkages to increase their income, and to shift gender norms that are preventing women from having a visible, respective and productive role in the coffee market system and broader society.

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