In Vietnam, people celebrate woman’s day twice a year. They observe national women’s day on 20th October and again international women’s day on 8th of March. Numerous events are being held by the Government, donors, mass organizations and NGOs on both the days.
Vietnam is a country where women had to fight many wars to establish themselves and secure their rights. An old Vietnamese saying : “One boy, that's something; ten girls that's nothing”and another: “When the enemy is at the gate, the woman goes out fighting”are enough to explain how women used to be treated here and how they have fought their way out of oppression and ill-treatment to a better world with gender equality and better facilities. Till today Vietnamese consider ‘beauty’ as a more important achievement for women as compared to their political engagement, intelligence, compassion, or ambition.
Overcoming the sour past sure was a difficult task for the women of such a chauvinist country. One of the main problems that Vietnamese women face is gender inequality. Women are often mistreated, misbehaved and neglected. But with continuous years of tumult and protests, women of Vietnam eradicated the most unfair practices and norms; and today Vietnamese women enjoy freedom and equal rights to a great extent though not as much as the other open societies. To this day many people here consider women as an object for men’s enjoyment. That is why on this day women voice their resentment and antipathy to all the sexist and unjust thoughts.
Throughout the country numerous events are being organized to encourage and inspire young women and to empower them on Women’s day. The Vietnamese society shows their love and respect for Vietnamese women. They receive flowers and gifts from their lovers, husbands and male friends on that day. Vietnamese women encourage and empower each other as well. Besides celebrating women’s economic, political and social achievements, people here also celebrate love and beauty.
Previously an alarming rise in the figures of child foeticide and maternal mortality rate led to outcry of several women activists. But thanks to these woman-empowering campaigns and rallies, there has been a steep drop in the statistics of maternal mortality from 233 per 1,00,000 births in 1990 to 69 per 100,000 births in 2009.
Another significant change in Vietnam today is the increasing interest for education and higher studies among the women. Today, Vietnamese women have become more conscious about basic education and their emancipation. Vietnamese women are no more restricted within the four walls asthousands of Vietnamese women attend corporate offices and industries. During the last few decades, there has been a major change in women’s position in Vietnam. Vietnam has been able to provide its women with safety and hassuccessfully gotten rid of many major issues women used to face. But there are severalimportant challenges whichthey are yet to overcome. Women’s wages are very low compared to what the males of equivalent education levels and seniority make. Women still get less health insurance coverage than men. The Vietnam Governmentpassed the 2003 Land Law which has promotedthe inclusion of women on Land Title Certificates. But the majority of Certificates still do not include women’s names. Gender based violence still remains a vital issue in the country.