Phuong Uyen Tran voices over #MeToo campaign in Vietnam

According to Phuong Uyen Tran, Vietnamese women have become more emancipated than in other parts of the region, thanks to Vietnam's long history to stand up for itself, and women's active role in doing that.
February 11, 2021 | 01:04
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Phuong Uyen Tran

Scores of women in country after country across the world have shared their experiences of sexual harassment and gender inequality using the #MeToo hashtag.

#MeToo Vietnam

"IF WOMEN ARE NOT EMANCIATED, socialism is only half-established." This was one of Ho Chi Minh's most famous quotes. It was very similar to Chairman Mao's dictum that "women hold up half the sky."

In Vietnam, the Workers Party of Vietnam (then known as the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1976) under Ho Chi Minh’s leadership did a huge amount to uproot some of the most oppressive aspects of patriarchy during the middle of the twentieth century.

Wife beating was publicly condemned, and child marriage was outlawed. Communists even enshrined female emancipation in the 1946 constitution: "Women enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres °fide: political, economic, cultural, social, and familial."

In this chapter, I would like to explain how women’s lives have changed in Vietnam, as well as share examples of the sexism I have experienced and what THP is doing to support women in the workplace. By discussing these sensitive and difficult issues, I hope it will lead to better dialogue and working relationships between the sexes.

It is a particularly pertinent issue for local companies or multinationals based in the Asian region because it is an area of the world that still lags behind the west in terms of gender equality. Sexism in Vietnam does not seem to be as bad as in other parts of East Asia. The country's struggle for independence from colonial rule is partly to thank for that. However, sexism is still alive and kicking, as I have personally discovered a number of times.

The historical dominance of China means that one of the many issues Vietnam has had to deal with is the Confucian view about a woman's role in society. When our northern neighbor invaded. Vietnam adopted the Confucian Three Obediences “tại phu tòng phụ, xuất giá tòng phu, phu tử tòng tử”. (A woman should obey her father as a daughter, her husband as a wife and her sons in widowhood).


Vietnam's long history to stand up for itself

Vietnam has a long history to stand up for itself, and women have played an active role in doing that. This has made Vietnamese women more emancipated than in other parts of the region. For example, two of the most famous figures in Vietnamese history are the Trung sisters who led a peasant army agaisnt Chinese invaders during the first century AD and then proclaimed themselves as queens.

They were eventually defeated in battle, though no one quite ace to a knows how they died. One story has it that they jumped into a river and turned into statues, which washed ashore and were placed in Hanoi's Hai Ba Trung Temple for worship. But their legend lives on, Irld and many towns and villages across the country honor their sacrifice in by naming streets and monuments after them.

More recently, the struggle for independence did a huge amount to change women's lives and their perceptions of the role they should play. North Vietnam built one of the largest contingents of women ever to fight in a war.


The resistance's official slogan was, "Let women replace men in all tasks in the rear." They ran supply lines, acted as spies, and made many of the rudimentary weapons from bamboo. But many fought and held those guns too.

Those who did not fight also became used to not having men tit and held those guns, too. to and doing the jobs they would normally have done. My paternal grandmother was a case in point. Her first husband left home to join the Viet Minh, the League for the Independence of Vietnam, founded and led by the Vietnamese communists. She suddenly had to make her own decisions and discovered she enjoyed it.

In the past few years, especially in 2018, Tan Hiep Phat and Phuong Uyen Tran are among Vietnamese names in the field of business that appear the most on international media because of their stories inspiring co-startups as well as millions of consumers around the world.

That Forbes first published the book “Competing with Giants” by a Vietnamese businesswoman has help promote the name of “rich man” Tan Hiep Phat.

Afterward, in the minds of many consumers, each water bottle is not only a drink but a crystallization of the desire to overcome difficulties and the spirit of entrepreneurship, an organic trend and Vietnam of miraculous stories.

And also from this book uncovered the aspirations of Tan Hiep Phat, as Mr. Hiroshi Otsuka, President and CEO of Musashi Seimitsu said: “An unmissable insight into how and why Vietnamese businesses are quietly growing into global players.”

About author Phuong Uyen Tran

Working as a powerful businesswoman, Forbes published author, Phuong Uyen Tran is a model of success in Vietnam. Phuong Uyen Tran is also a special contributor for Vietnam Times. Her writing, including “Competing with Giants" book, and her latest articles are to advise and inspire young people to start-up, overcome challenges and reach out to the world. It is the story of a little girl taking the great responsibilities for a corporation and devoting herself to society.

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