Posts Tagged ‘Ha Nguyen’

Women’s rights in Vietnam lag behind U.S.

Editor’s Note: This is a continuation of a series in which ESL students at Grossmont College compare and contrast customs in the United States and their native lands.

By Ha Nguyen

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — In recent years, Vietnam has changed into a great economy and society. The role of women in the family and in society has been enhanced. Many women have become leaders of big companies as well as holding important positions in the government.

However, an attitude still exists among many generations in Vietnamese society that women still have to handle all the housework. I appreciate the cultural values of my national traditions, but I do not like this attitude for three reasons. First, women have no opportunities for advancement at work. Second, women have no time to rest or relax. Finally, men gradually become irresponsible, apathetic, and indifferent to their loved ones.

In Vietnam, especially in cities, besides eight hours of working in the office or the companies, women have to take care of buying groceries, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and child care. The housework takes up all their time, so they no longer have enough free time for reading, studying, or researching issues related to their job.

At the university in Vietnam, older women are really rare because they do not have time. I know a woman whose name is Thanh. She is the director of a company that provides high-level personnel in Vietnam. Thanh is a highly educated woman. She had at least four opportunities to go to foreign companies to cultivate business in the United States and Australia…but she could not go because no one could take care of her children as well as handle her housework. Thanh is one of many women who have to skip a lot of opportunities for advancement at work.

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