International Women’s Day 2023: International voices to promote innovation and technology for empowerment of migrant women to contributing to the achievement of gender equality in Viet Nam

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, IOM Chief of Mission, the UN Resident Coordinator United Nations Viet Nam - Liên Hợp Quốc tại Việt Nam and Ambassadors from Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Sweden, UK and US joined their voices to celebrate the strength of women and girls on the move, and to raise awareness of and advocate for empowering migrant women with access to skilling and upskilling opportunities in order to bridge the digital gender divide in migration and strengthen female migrants' resilience and competitiveness in the digital world. 

Around the world, more people are on the move than ever before. Many of them are seeking new opportunities and a better life for themselves and their families. Others are forced to move due to disaster or conflict. Gender is central to any discussion of the causes and consequences of migration, whether forced, voluntary or somewhere in between.

A person’s sex, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation shape every stage of the migration experience. Gender influences reasons for migrating, who migrates and to where, how people migrate and the networks they use, opportunities and resources available at destinations, and relations with the country of origin. Risks, vulnerabilities, and needs are also shaped in large part by one’s gender, and often vary drastically for different groups. The roles, expectations, relationships, and power dynamics associated with being a man, woman, boy or girl, and whether one identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex (LGBTI), significantly affect all aspects of the migration process, and can also be affected in new ways by migration.

Migration is an integral part of Viet Nam’s overall development as reflected in the number of Vietnamese citizens migrating for work, study, marriage, family unification and other purposes both internally and abroad. Labour migration has become a steady contribution to Viet Nam’s socio-economic development. Vietnamese women make up 55,5% of the country migrant population according to the Viet Nam Women’s Union survey. In 2020, there were 3.4 million Vietnamese who migrated (3.3% of total population), among which 1.71 million were women (50.3% of total migrants). While migration has provided many women with opportunities to improve their lives and families, Vietnamese migrant women at the same time face challenges especially in the face of the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0).

With nearly 80% of working-age women in Viet Nam being either low-skilled or unskilled, migrant women workers make up a sizable proportion of the labour force engaged in lower-skilled economic sectors or labour-intensive positions, which account for nearly 74% of all jobs in Viet Nam. As the IR 4.0 is rolled out, automation and technological advancements are forecasted to cause a rapid decline in demand for unskilled and low-skilled labour. Up to 86% of workers in Vietnam's textile and footwear industries are at risk of losing their job within the next 15 years. In this context, migrant women workers are among the most affected by IR 4.0 as they account for a large proportion of the low-skilled labour force.

In another aspect, women particularly migrant women looking for jobs have faced growing risks on online spaces. This is because on the one hand, the online platform has become an increasingly popular channel for searching job opportunities, on the other hand, technology enables traffickers to easily recruit victims. Women especially young women and girls with unskilled or low-skilled have been targeted by smugglers and traffickers whose criminal operations are transnational. Trafficked Vietnamese including women are found not only in Europe, North America, and the Gulf countries, but also in Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and African countries

Let's join IOM to promote innovation and technology for empowerment of migrant women to contributing to the achievement of gender equality in Viet Nam.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 5 - Gender Equality