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Making the world run: Women’s Day in Vietnam

Making the world run: Women’s Day in Vietnam

Monday, October 27, 2014, 17:58 GMT+7

Three of my young Vietnamese friends are starting a small business in Da Nang City in the central region. The young lady has taken the risk and the plunge to create a business space of their own creativity and imagination. 

Raising the money and doing almost all the work to renovate a decrepit house into a comfy, cozy café and shop. I admire their determination and willingness to try something new despite having little experience of such things. 

It’s a Vietnamese trait I see often, the enthusiasm and energy to start something even if they are inexperienced. It’s a far cry from the generation X boredom and lethargy I’ve witnessed in Australia.

It’s still very much a man’s world in Vietnam yet the raise of feminine success in business, government and many professions is slowly becoming more noticeable. They say this will be the ‘Asian’ century and women are driving it as much as men. Indian female scientists featured heavily in the success of their country’s first Mars satellite. Pakistan’s child education activist Malala Yousafzai, just 17 years old, has just won the Nobel Peace Prize. So what of Vietnam’s women? Well, for starters, Vietnam’s women football team is rated as just about the best in Asia! The Vietnam’s Women Union honored the efforts of 10 individuals in promoting the quality of life of Vietnamese women in a ceremony last week. Vietnam’s female authors are becoming best-sellers and on the rise in popularity, with authors such as young Phan Y Yen having just released her sixth book, Em La De Yeu (You Are for Love). 

Cyclist Nguyen Thi That and long jumper Bui Thi Thu Thao both won silver medals at the Asian Games in South Korea recently. Business leaders such as Vingroup JSC’s Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vinamilk’s Mai Kieu Lien, and VNDirect Securities Corp’s Pham Minh Huong are not only leading the way but showing the value of bringing the different perspectives of women into the business world. 

Then there’s Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Hoe, 68, who developed new ways of using rice husks for paint and continued to encourage young people to take an interest in science. Earlier this month, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper gave a scholarship to a young lass, Pham To Trinh, for her innovation in creating low-cost English classes at Tan Tao University in the southern province of Long An.

Travelling around the country, it’s interesting to see how women are visibly involved in work, be it running a sidewalk café, a shop or a company. Certainly the traditional skills of running the household budget, managing a family and coping with husbands have come in handy! Have you ever noticed how it’s always the women who count the money and write the accounts? I’ve never seen a man do it here at all.

Add to all of this the charm, grace, good humor and sheer niceness of Vietnamese women and you have an unbeatable combination. Not to mention their bravery and feistiness!

So we men have to salute your achievements and your support of us, no matter how silly we become sometimes. Where would we be without you, women?

So women! Today, the 20th of October, start a small revolution… and insist on breakfast in bed!  …and flowers as well. 

Tuoi Tre


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