|Medical staff examine women in Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi. Vietnamese women face many workplace barriers, including limited opportunities for career advancement and gender stereotyping. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese women working in the criminal justice sector are a minority and face many workplace barriers, including limited opportunities for career advancement and gender stereotyping.
The assessment, made by the UN at a forum yesterday on the situation of women in the criminal justice system in Viet Nam, aimed at supporting the Government's efforts towards effective gender equality in the criminal justice system.
The determination was based on studies undertaken during a visit to Ha Noi by staff from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as well as international and national consultants from UNODC and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
The assessment discovered that women are assigned to roles within criminal justice departments based on their gender rather than individual capabilities.
For instance, many female police recruits are assigned to administrative duties instead of field positions involving physical police responsibilities.
Relegating women to only these types of roles prevents them from being able to advance professionally and, as a result, higher level positions are held predominantly by men, the assessment said. Notably, less than 1 per cent of the criminal investigators in the country are women, and there are no female prison managers and very few female deputy managers.
In addition to gender stereotyping, gender roles in the country are deeply institutionalised, assigning women to responsibilities such as child care and household management with the expectation that they build a happy family.
In Viet Nam, the Labour Law and the Law on Social Insurance governing retirement age differs for men and women, which is 55 and 60, respectively.
However, the policy has negative impacts on working women because it not only prematurely terminates women's careers, but also limits their career training and promotional opportunities.
The assessment showed that there is an overall decline of women in leadership positions, with those holding ministerial and equivalent posts down from 12 per cent in 2007-11 to 4.5 per cent in 2011-16.
UN experts recommend that relevant Vietnamese agencies undertake a more thorough evaluation of women's roles in the workforce.
More detailed information would enable a deeper analysis of the root causes and specific barriers to the participation of women among the senior levels of the judiciary.
The Government should review the criteria for recruitment and promotion in each criminal justice agency, and revise definitions of merit and capabilities to remove gender biases.
The age of retirement for women and men should be equalised and the Government should explore options for child care provisions to alleviate burdens on women.
"All of us need to invest stronger efforts to ensure that men's and women's similarities and differences are recognised and equally valued and that their opportunities and their benefits become and remain equal," said Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Country Representative.
Photo exhibition praises Vietnamese women in war
TUYEN QUANG — More than 100 documentary war photos are on display at an exhibition which opened yesterday in the Tan Trao Special National Historical Relic site, the northern province of Tuyen Quang.
Exhibited photos highlight the resilient spirit of women soldiers, who joined Viet Nam's resistance wars against France and the US.
As part of the activities to mark the 83rd anniversary of the Viet Nam Women's Union (October 20) and towards celebrating Viet Nam Heritage Day, the event attracted a large number of visitors, local people and students.
It provides a good opportunity for audiences to understand more about the patriotic spirit and sacrifice for the nation Vietnamese women made, as well as their great contributions to national liberation.
Running until the end of this year, the exhibition also aims to teach young Vietnamese people the national revolutionary tradition. — VNS