Gender Inequality in Vietnam and Its Effects on Social Behavior and Psychological Well-being within the Family
Nguyen, Hang Thuy
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This paper examines the effects of gender inequality in Vietnam on social behavior and psychological well-being of members within the family. Gender inequality has been a complicated and challenging problem to resolve in the context of history, culture, politics, and socio-economics of Vietnam. Despite government's attempts to improve the situation, literature revealed a continuing presence of gender gaps in income, number of leadership positions, education, and other areas. Vietnamese women continue to face domestic violence, husband's extramarital sex, and the double demands from both home and workplace. Research findings have shown that fulfilling gender roles produces significant psychological distress in both genders, especially women. Differences in social behavior of men and women are explained according to the social role theory, in which the division of housework creates gender roles, gender stereotypes, and consequently determines social behavior. Gender roles also influence parenting patterns, which affect emotional and behavior development of children and their perception of gender. This paper presents an approach to explain the division of household labor in Vietnam by discussing the pro longed influence of Confucian ideologies on Vietnamese culture. Suggestions for future directions include a strategy focusing more on creating changes within the family unit.