Vietnam has made significant progress in narrowing the gender gap, but major social and economic challenges still remain, said Andrew Mason, author of the East Asia Pacific Gender Companion Volume – a regional supplement to the World Development Report 2012.
According to the WB official, disparities among ethnic minority groups, along with the imbalanced sex-ratio at birth, unequal access to economic opportunities for women and domestic violence, continue to rise, creating major obstacles to gender equality in Vietnam.
He suggested that sustained, focused domestic public policies are needed to address these challenges during the national economic transition from low to middle income.
In order to be effective, these policies need to target the root causes of gender gaps, he added.
The annual WB publication shows that gender equality is a core development objective for all countries. Greater gender equality will help enhance productivity, improve outcomes for the next generations, make institutions more representative, and advance the development prospects for everyone.
The world has made significant progress in narrowing gender gaps in education, life expectancy and participation in labor markets over the past 25 years, said the report’s Co-Director, Sudhir Shetty.
However, gender disparities still exist in many areas, requiring all countries to take measures to reduce excessive female mortality, close education gaps where they remain, and improve access to economic opportunities for women, as well as raise women's voices within the household and society, and stop passing on the notion of gender inequality to future generations.