Promoting women’s economic empowerment, including ethnic minorities, in Vietnam


Women, especially those from rural and ethnic minority areas in Vietnam, are much more likely than men to be excluded from economic opportunities, and to derive livelihoods from lower value, less skilled and less secure work. Women from ethnic minority groups are less likely to secure waged employment and Vietnamese women overall have less access than men to land, credit and technical training. Many ethnic minority women also have poor financial literacy and less influence over decisions within the home and the community.

Vietnam's National Strategy on Gender Equality 2011-2020 commits to narrowing the gender gap in the economy, to ensure women can get quality jobs, and increasing the number of female entrepreneurs. It also aspires to increase the access of poor rural and ethnic minority women to economic resources and the labour market. Empowering women to participate actively in the economy is critical to reducing poverty and building a sustainable economy. Australia is working to support women's economic empowerment, including for those most excluded.

The Australia in Vietnam Gender Equality Strategy 2016-2020 is guiding Australia's whole-of-government approach in Vietnam. The Strategy focuses on three key areas to progressively close the gender gap in Vietnam: Enhancing women's voices in decision-making and leadership, promoting women's economic empowerment, and ending violence against women and girls.

Australia will focus its support through the aid program on Vietnam's northern mountainous areas, which have a higher incidence of extreme poverty. Consistent with our economic partnership, we will complement the efforts of the Government of Vietnam by identifying, trialing and scaling-up new approaches to closing gender gaps in economic livelihoods in these areas, including by working with the private sector. We will also support programs and policies that better empower women.

Promoting women's economic empowerment, including ethnic minorities fact sheet

Related initiatives


Aus4Equality is an umbrella initiative that includes the following investments:

  • Women's Economic Empowerment through Agricultural Value Chain Enhancement (WEAVE)
  • Gender-Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT)
  • The Vietnam component of the multi-country Investing in Women
  • Support to the Second National Study on Violence against Women and Girls
  • Building Responsibility and Accountability for gender-based Violence Elimination (BRAVE)
  • Empower
  • Her Turn.

Aus4Equality fact sheet

Women's Economic Empowerment through Agricultural Value Chain Enhancement (WEAVE)

$3.49 million, 2016 - 2020

The project supports ethnic minority women's economic empowerment in pork, cinnamon and banana value chains. This is achieved by promoting equality between women and men within households and producer groups, strengthening female and male producers' skills and bargaining power, and working with businesses and government decision-makers to improve the policy environment to support producers. WEAVE is implemented by a consortium of three international non-governmental organisations: CARE International, Oxfam and SNV.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Women's Economic Empowerment through Agriculture Value Chain Enhancement- Design Document [PDF 2.67 MB] 2016 Design
WEAVE fact sheet 2017 Fact sheet
WEAVE project: Midterm review report 2018 Midterm review report
WEAVE project: Midterm review report - management response 2018 Management response report

Gender-Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT)

$33.7 million, 2017-2021

GREAT is empowering women in Lao Cai and Son La provinces to better engage in agriculture and tourism markets, enhance women's voices in decision-making, promote partnerships with the private sector, and support more inclusive government policies and services. The project has three objectives:

  • Empowering local women: Women living in local communities have increased capacity, space and choices to beneficially engage with agriculture and tourism businesses.
  • Inclusive businesses partnerships: Selected private sector actors within the agriculture and tourism sectors profitably and sustainably engage with more women as producers, suppliers, traders and entrepreneurs, and operate in gender sensitive ways.
  • Improving sector governance and policy: Government agencies reinforce policies and enact plans, regulations and services that enable more inclusive socio-economic development.
GREAT is managed by CowaterSogema.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Gender-Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Investment Design Document 2016 Design

Related links

Investing in Women

$4 million, 2017-2019

Investing in Women is working in Vietnam to promote increased employment opportunities for women in the formal sector, and the expansion of women-led small to medium enterprises. The initiative also seeks to promote women's leadership and decision-making in workplaces and businesses. The Vietnam component of this multi-country investment started in 2017. A second phase of Investing in Women has been approved, to commence in July 2019.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Investment Design – South East Asia Investing in Women Initiative 2015 Design
Investing in Women fact sheet 2017 Fact sheet
Investing in Women Phase 2 Investment Design Document 2018 Design

Related links

Support to the Second National Study on Violence against Women and Girls

$0.6 million, 2018-2019

Australia is collaborating with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to support the Government of Vietnam to carry out Vietnam's Second National Study on Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG). The study will:

  • Estimate the prevalence, frequencies and forms of gender-based violence in Vietnam
  • Provide estimates of economic costs of VAWG at the household, regional and national levels
  • Assess the extent to which VAWG is associated with health and socio-economic outcomes
  • Identify factors that may either protect or put women and girls at risk of gender-based violence
  • Document and compare strategies and services women and girls use to deal with gender-based violence, perceptions of VAWG, and the extent to which women and girls understand their legal rights
  • Identify any changes in the VAWG situation in Vietnam since the first survey was completed by the General Statistics Office in 2010.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Proposal: Support the Second National Study on Violence against Women and Girls (2017-2019) 2017 Concept note

Building Responsibility and Accountability for gender-based Violence Elimination (BRAVE)

$0.6 million, 2018-2020

BRAVE aims to influence social norms around gender-based violence victim blaming, in partnership with CARE International.

Related links


$0.8 million, 2018-2021

In partnership with Marie Stopes International, Australia is helping women and girls in Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar to realise their economic potential through improved utilisation of sexual and reproductive health services, products and information.

Her Turn

$0.25 million, 2018-2021

Australia is working with KOTO (Know One, Teach One) to support a three-year vocational training and entrepreneurial skills development program for disadvantaged rural and ethnic minority women.


Last Updated: 5 September 2019