VI-1. “Constructing Gender Policy in Socialist Vietnam and Process of the Practice” (H26 FY2014)

  • Project Leader : Ito Miho (The University of Tokyo, East Asia Liberal Arts Initiative

Outline of Research

This research project aims to clarify a relationship between the universal Socialist ideal and the local context of society with regard to the process of the formulation and implementation of gender policies in Vietnam in the Cold War. By analyzing the official gazette from 1945 to late 1980s, it will try to answer the question of how the Vietnamese government formulated a Socialistic policy on gender equality and women’s social participation by paying attention to the Vietnamese “traditional” values and norms around family and gender roles.


The purpose of this research project is to describe the process of formulation and implementation of gender policy as the localization of the universal socialistic ideal during the period of Socialist construction in Vietnam.

Due to a lack of a male labor force during the period covering the “Vietnam war,” women in Vietnam were required to move out of a traditional narrow family space to society and substitute men, albeit for a short period of time. The author argues that the Vietnamese government built and implemented policies to alter women from members of private and intimate sphere and to make them main actors who should support and establish a public sphere in the brand new Vietnamese nation-state.

The significance of this study is that it will clarify some characters of compressed modernity in Vietnam from a viewpoint of a gender study. It will deliver some implications for male and/or leader centered angles of socialist studies and the importance of changes by focusing on the agency of Vietnamese women who lived out multi-layered social rules in local settings, yet were encouraged to play public roles.

Women who row boats in Mekong Delta.

Woman creates tomorrow by “with her hands”.