Pre-session working group

Thirty-seventh session

15 January-2 February 2007

* References to page numbers are based on the English text of the report.

List of issues and questions with regard to the consideration of the combined fifth and sixth periodic report *

Viet Nam

The pre-session working group examined the combined fifth and sixth periodic report of Viet Nam (CEDAW/C/VNM/5-6).

Preparation of the report

1.Please indicate whether the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports were adopted by the Government and presented to the National Assembly prior to its submission.

Constitution, legislation and national machinery for the advancement of women

2.The report indicates that the Constitution provides that all citizens, regardless of sex, ethnicity, and social strata are equal before the law (p. 5). The report also notes that very few administrative cases have been filed by women for alleged gender-based discrimination. Please provide reasons for this situation, as well as information as to the type of cases filed by women who faced discrimination, and the outcome of those cases, and also indicate what administrative or other remedies are available to women victims of discrimination.

3.The report describes the “National Strategy for the Advancement of Women until 2020”, which was approved by the Prime Minister in 2002 (p. 10). Please provide updates on the implementation of the Strategy until now, including on the Action Plan on Women’s Advancement (until 2005). This should include details on progress, challenges and gaps in implementation as well as on monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of the Strategy and Action Plan, and on results achieved.

4.The report notes that the National Committee for the Advancement of Women has been strengthened (p. 11). Please provide more detail on the status of the Committee within the Government; its reporting structure; the human and financial resources available to the Committee; and its relationship with the Viet Nam Women’s Union.

5.The report notes that the National Assembly decided in 2003 to draft a Law on Gender Equality. Please provide further information on the substantive provisions of the draft and current status of this initiative, as well as on the anticipated time frame for its enactment.


6.Please provide information whether any awareness-raising programmes on gender equality and on elimination of gender-based stereotypes have been targeted on men and boys, including in rural areas and among ethnic minorities. What specific measures are there to motivate men and boys to share housework?

7.The report provides little information about measures to support women and men in reconciling their family and work responsibilities. Please provide information on the types of specific measures in place to overcome obstacles for women’s participation in the labour market and to facilitate the sharing of family and work responsibilities, and on the impact of such measures.

Violence against women

8.The report provides no information on legislation, policies and programmes to address all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, rape and sexual violence. Please provide updated information on the prevalence of violence against women, including in rural areas. What kind of data is being collected on the incidence of all forms of violence against women and what do they reveal in terms of trends?

9.In its last concluding comments (A/56/38/Rev.1, para. 259), the Committee recommended training for all public officials, in particular law enforcement personnel, the judiciary and members of local committees as well as public awareness campaigns on all forms of violence against women. Please provide information whether, and how, this recommendation has been implemented.

Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

10.The report describes some programmes organized by the Government to address trafficking and sexual exploitation, including through communication and education programmes; prosecution of procurers; and education, treatment and reintegration of prostitutes. Please provide updated information on the number of women and girls trafficked to, from and through Viet Nam as well as on the number of trafficking related prosecutions. Please specify what actions have been taken to protect the rights of victims of trafficking. Indicate what specific measures there are to address trafficking for purposes of forced marriage or marriages contracted through deceit. Has the Government of Viet Nam entered into bilateral agreements with relevant countries for rescue and rehabilitation of such victims?

11.Please indicate whether specific measures are being taken focusing on the prevention of trafficking in women and girls, including through programmes addressing root causes of trafficking.

Participation in public life and decision-making

12.Please describe whether any measures have been taken to increase women’s participation in the executive branch of Government, including temporary special measures in line with the Committee’s general recommendation 25 on article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention. Please provide updated figures for the representation of women in executive positions at national, provincial and local levels.

13.According to table 6.4 (p. 70), the representation of women is nil or fairly low in some committees to the tenth National Assembly, particularly in the areas of defence and security, law, economy and budget. What measures are being taken, if any, to increase women’s participation in all committees?


14.The report describes the “National Plan of Action on Education for All for 2003-2015” (p. 29). Please describe the measures taken, targets set, and results as a consequence of the implementation of the Plan of Action.

15.Please provide updated information on recent trends in graduation rates of girls compared to boys at all levels of education.

16.According to the report, the enrolment rate for ethnic girls is only 10 per cent (p. 29). Please indicate whether this rate suggests a positive trend and describe which steps are taken to ensure that ethnic girls enjoy equal access to education. Also indicate whether this group of girls is specifically targeted in the Plan of Action.

17.Please indicate whether information on family planning and sex education is provided in schools to girls and boys, and if not, please specify how such information is conveyed to young people.

Employment and economic empowerment

18.The report refers to “jobs that are prohibited or limited for women” (p. 17). Please provide more detailed information on this statement, including the types of jobs that are prohibited or limited to women and the legal basis for this exclusion. Please give information on the steps the Government is taking to reduce the perception that certain jobs are prohibited for women.

19.The report provides no information on trends of pay parity or gaps between men and women. Please provide information on existing wage gaps between men and women at the same levels of seniority with similar levels of responsibility, per sector.

20.What measures, if any, have been taken or implemented to combat sexual harassment at work?

21.Please provide information on the extent and conditions of women working in the informal sector, and measures in place to support the economic empowerment of this group of women.


22.The report notes that the Government has been implementing the “National Strategy on the Prevention of HIV/AIDS to 2010 and vision 2020” (p. 39). Please indicate whether and how this strategy integrates a gender perspective and also provide updated information on the number of women currently infected with HIV/AIDS; the availability of antiretroviral medication and psychosocial services for women with HIV/AIDS and their children.

23.Please provide information on steps being taken to reduce the high abortion rates in Viet Nam and to provide comprehensive contraceptive services. Also provide information on the range of adolescent reproductive health services and information.

Rural women and ethnic minorities

24.Please provide information on progress and remaining challenges following the implementation of the “Gender Plan of Action in Agriculture and Rural Development to 2005”. What steps are being taken in particular to enhance skills and improve employment rate of women in rural areas as well as to increase their productivity and participation in small-scale businesses? What steps have been taken to increase access to health care and education for rural women and girls?

25.Please provide more information on the living conditions of rural women living in mountain and remote areas, with a special focus on female-headed households, ethnic minorities and older women.

26.The report mentions several times that customs and practices prevail among ethnic minorities that lead to discrimination against women in areas such as divorce (p. 52), inheritance (p. 49) and access to health care (p. 36). What measures are being taken to address these issues?

Marriage and family relations

27.The report addresses the new land use certificates which allow the registration of land under the names of both husband and wife (p. 49). However, particularly in rural areas land remains to be registered under the name of the head of household, mostly men. Please provide detailed information on the measures taken to ensure that women’s right to property is guaranteed.

Optional Protocol

28.Please indicate whether any measures or actions have been undertaken to accede to the Optional Protocol.