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Eighty per cent of women workers are still unskilled

Update: April, 22/2015 - 08:37
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs found that last year 83.9 per cent of female workers were unskilled, compared with 79 per cent of male workers. — Photo dansinh

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam has made progress in eliminating gender inequality, but serious gaps still exist in the labour market, said Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Country Representative.

Ishikawa spoke at a workshop on social protection for women and girls in Ha Noi yesterday. The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs found that last year 83.9 per cent of female workers were unskilled, compared with 79 per cent of male workers.

Nguyen Thi Lan Huong, director general of the Institute of Labour Sciences and Social Affairs, said more attention should be paid to women with disadvantages, including poor women, ethnic minorities and women working informal jobs. Insurance schemes should also respond more effectively to the special needs of women.

"Research should be conducted on additional measures for protection against sexual abuse, unintended pregnancy, childbirth and sexually transmitted diseases," she said.

The ministry also found that more than 10 per cent of poor, female household heads lacked a job because of their demanding household chores. The rate for male heads of households was 5 per cent. The rate of literacy in women was lower than in men, at 93.1 per cent and 96.6 per cent, respectively. Women also made up 56.3 per cent of the unemployed.

Poor and ethnic minority women were entitled to free health insurance by law, said Nguyen Thi Tu, director of the Department for Ethnic Minorities under the Committee of Ethnic Minority Affairs. But often they didn't know how to use health insurance for medical treatments and exams.

"For that reason, in my opinion the Government needs to train local staff on social protection policies," she said.

Those entitled to the free health insurance in ethnic minority areas also needed more information on the benefits they would receive.

"We must acknowledge that social protection programmes cannot be gender-blind," Ishikawa said. — VNS

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