No. 14 Changing Gender Relations in Vietnam's Post Doi Moi Era
By Lynellyn Long, Le Ngoc Hung, Allison Truitt, Le Thi Phuong Mai, and Dang Nguyen Anh

This study documents existing evidence on the gender effects of the recent social and economic transition in Vietnam.  Although gender disparities are often attributed to Confucian traditions around men and women’s roles, these traditions alone do not explain the variant forms of gender inequality in Vietnam today. The formation of new social hierarchies arising from the transition to a market economy further raises the question of whether gender alone without reference to other forms of social differentiation is an adequate analytic construct for assessing the impact of the reforms.  This report provides an analysis of national trends, a review of the recent literature on gender, and a household level analysis of gender roles in both an urban and a rural community.  Findings are presented on changing intra-household relations, mobility and social differentiation in the market economy, and new forms of political participation and knowledge.  Specific recommendations are provided to address emerging gender inequalities at the household and community level and in light of larger national trends.

This paper is part of a series of papers on selected topics commissioned for the forthcoming Policy Research Report(PRR) on Gender and Development. The PRR is being carried out by Elizabeth King and Andrew Mason and co-sponsored by the World Bank’s Development Economics Research Group and the Gender and Development Group of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network. Comments and requests should be sent directly to the author(s) at

The full-length paper is available in PDF format.