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Raising female retirement

Update: April, 20/2009 - 00:00

Raising female retirement


Chairperson of the Viet Nam Women’s Union Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa spoke with Viet Nam News about the need to increase the retirement age for women from 55 to 60 to improve gender equality.

The compulsory retirement age of 55 for women can be classed as inequality because men retire at 60. What do you think?

The compulsory retirement age of 55 for women was stipulated many years ago. To be fair, it reflects the care of the Party and State for female workers. Besides having outside jobs, women play a vital role in looking after their families. In the past, the average number in each family was at least five.

This could negatively impact on women’s health because of the time spent caring for children and families. The 55-year policy conformed to working conditions of the time, and to living standards and the demands of the labour market.

Nowadays, Viet Nam’s socio-economy is more developed, working conditions are being improved and, more importantly, women receive much more help from men in doing housework and looking after children.

In addition, each family now has only one or two children, so women’s living standards have been increased and they have more time for themselves. This is why the Party and State want to adjust the retirement age for women, especially for those working as managers and leaders.

The Institute for Labour Science and Social Affairs proposes two resolutions to increasing the retirement age for women. Which do you support?

According to the first proposal, women should have the right to decide what age they want to retire, 55 or 60. The second is that the working age for women be increased by four months each year from 2011 to 2025. This means that in 2011, a woman can retire at 55 years and four months, in 2012, a woman would be able to retire at 55 years and eight months ..... and so on until 2025 when the retirement age for women will be 60, the same age as for men.

I support resolutions that can provide equality for women and give them the same priorities. The law already states clearly that both men and women are equal in enjoying retirement policies. Women have priority in requesting retirement one to five years earlier than men.

Do you think increasing the retirement age for women could create fewer jobs for youth?

Article 55 of Viet Nam’s 1992 Constitution stipulates that working is a citizen’s duty, and the State and society have to create more jobs for women.

Thus, working and generating jobs is not only a woman’s responsibility, but also the State’s - and society’s. Although 55 per cent of retired women still continue working, this is not a reason for youth unemployment. In my point of view, Vietnamese youth is intelligent enough to decide on a career instead of waiting to take jobs left by retirees. — VNS

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