Lending A Helping Hand To Vietnamese Business-women

The project starting in July 2006 will address gender inequality for women in the private sector – both for businesswomen and female workers in Vietnam.
On one hand the goal is to help build up the capacity, thus strengthen the role and voice of businesswomen in the society. This will be achieved through direct support to the Businesswomen’s Network secretariat in Vietnam and members of the secretariat’s network.
On the other hand the project will help improve working and living conditions for female workers. This is thought done through increased acknowledgement from enterprises managers of their corporate responsibility towards their workers.
The project is planned to run for 2 years.

The background
The private sector in Vietnam has been growing rapidly since the mid-1990s, especially since the implementation of the Enterprise Law in 2000, which made it easier to register new private companies.
Most newly started private enterprises are small enterprises. These small companies can be a major alternative for job creation and income generation. This is much needed in Vietnam, as the state sector and structure has failed to meet the demands of the growing labour force.
Despite its contribution to the national economy, the small entrepreneurs face a number of obstacles such as lack of knowledge about the market, inadequate technology, limited capacity in capital mobilization and utilization, unfavourable legal frame works, lack of management, business skills and law understanding and limited capacity in negotiating with state agencies.
Danida has chosen to focus on women for even though both men and women, as entrepreneurs, have to deal with the above mentioned hurdles; women face more difficulties and additional disadvantages created by gender stereotypes and gender inequality in Vietnam.
At the same time millions of female workers in the private sector are facing tough working and living conditions. They often work long hours and have limited opportunities to socialize. This limits their possibilities to form friendships and relationships. The fact that up to 65 % of the women working in labour-intensive sectors are unmarried could be a result of this.

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