Wed, 10/12/2016 - 14:36 - 42 Views

On August 18, 2016 a third workshop was held on Gender and Society Research Findings. Since the first workshop held on August 2014 to the present, the Gender and Society Research Center (GAS) at Hoa Sen University has held three full day workshops of this kind for researchers to review the research papers completed during the year. The papers delt with various topics such as history, literature and social issues with a point of view related to gender equality and women's rights.

The organizers were pleased that more and more presentations from universities and research institutes in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and neighboring provinces were sent to the workshop. From these papers, the organizers selected and classified the presentations into the following five thematic groups.

Theme 1: Gender, Employment and Migration

  • The Impact of Migration Changes on Gender Roles in Raglai Ethnic Families - Case studies in Phuoc Trung commune, Bac Ai District, Ninh Thuan Province by Nguyen Thanh Phuc and Ngo Thi Thu Trang, PhD. (Department of Geography, University of Social Sciences and Humanities University City).
  • Social Inclusion of Khmer Women Migrants in Binh Duong Province by Le Anh Vu, M.A. (Community Development Department, Faculty of Social Work, University of Thu Dau Mot, Binh Duong Province).
  • · The Agency of Female Domestic Workers in sub-urban Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City by Ngo Thi Thu Trang, PhD. and Chau Thi Thu Thuy, M.A. (Department of Geography, University of Social Sciences and Humanities University City); and Le Thi Hanh, M.A. (GAS at Hoa Sen University).

In Theme One, the presentation “The Impact of Migration Changes on Gender Roles in Raglai Ethnic Families - Case studies in Phuoc Trung commune, Bac Ai district, Ninh Thuan province” by Nguyen Thanh Phuc and Ngo Thi Thu Trang elaborated the geographical and ethnography aspects to analyze gender roles under the impact of migration on Raglai families. Most of the local women, although they have to carry heavier responsibilities in the care of children and doing productive work simultaneously, when men migrate and live away from the families, are able to make all decisions related to the families. Some cases demonstrating the rise of women in life are also mentioned in the presentation such as “Social Inclusion of Khmer Women Migrants” by Le Anh Vu, talking about some instances of Khmer women who have actively integrated into the employment market and social relationship in Binh Duong Province; or another presenting “The Agency of Female Domestic Workers in suburban Binh Tan District in HCMC” by Ngo Thi Thu Trang, Chau Thi Thu Thuy and Le Thi Hanh discussing the female domestic workers’ consciousness of being independent in tasks management and employer-worker’s conflict resolution. Through this thematic group, Dr. Thai Thi Ngoc Du said that migration will strengthen the women’s roles. She noted that skill on approaching the respondents, is one of the difficulties during the operation of the research and often results in a limited number in the study sample.

Theme 2: Feminist Literature

  • Teaching and Research on Feminist Literature at the Faculty of Literature and Linguistics, University of Social Sciences and Humanities at National University, HCMC by Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan, PhD.
  • Issues on Women's Rights in Newspapers in Southern Urban Areas during the Period 1954-1975 by Ho Khanh Van, M.A. (Faculty of Literature and Linguistics, University of Social Sciences & Humanities, National University, HCMC.

In Theme Two, the literary topic on women and feminist literature, although now no longer unfamiliar, is always an issue arousing special attention in terms of teaching and research. The presentation by Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan introduced “The Feminist Literary Criticism Within The Teaching Activities at the University of Social Sciences & Humanities – HCMC” and expanded it in many other units.  The researcher emphasized the importance of answering the question “why does feminist literary criticism exist?” The answer is that feminist literary criticism is derived from our personal consciousness during the development and innovation process of  literature. It is necessary to know the concept as well as the point of view of feminist literature according to the historical process when conducting a study. In addition, the reference of foreign sources emphasized in a study of various feminist schools is also extremely important.

The articles on feminist literary criticism published in the press have aroused further research and attention as well as sympathy for the movement. In the same vein, the presentation of  “Issues on Women's Rights in Newspapers in Southern Urban Areas During the Period 1954-1975” by Ho Khanh Van was an insight about the changing perceptions of gender during that period 1954 - 1975 in that region. The research paper once again confirms the strong ideological shift of feminist consciousness socialization on a large scale.

Theme 3: Gender, Employment and Decision-Making

  • Management and Control of Money in the Households in HCMC by Le Thi Hanh, M.A. (Hoa Sen University)
  • Decision-making on Family Issues in a Gender Relationship in the Mekong Delta by Tran Hanh Minh Phuong, PhD. (University of Thu Dau Mot, Binh Duong Province).

The extent of equality in a couple’s relationship is often expressed within the framework of the family decision-making role. In Theme Three, the research paper "Decision-making on Family Issues in a Gender Relationship - The Case of the Mekong Delta" by Tran Hanh Minh Phuong mentioned the typical cases of the division of roles between husband and wife in the Mekong Delta; specifically that new progress has been made through discussion and mutual respect in all aspects of life. The division is based upon the nature of the tasks as well as health or education. In general and different from the conclusion of some previous studies, power was gradually overcome and the decision depended on the ability to do the job rather than have it  imposed under the framework of gender.

Theme 4: Gender Socialization

  • Gender Socialization among Young People - Study of Young People Groups in HCMC by Nguyen Xuan Nghia, PhD., Phan Thi Kim Yen, Ton Nu Hoang Hong and Vo Ngoc Quynh (Faculty of Sociology - Social Work - Southeast Asian Studies, Open University - Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Women Leaders in Higher Education: The Influence of Vietnamese Culture and Gender Equality Policies – The Case of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam by Dang Thi Ngoc Lan, PhD. (Vietnam-Germany University, Binh Duong Province)
  • The Gender Performativity Theory in Gender Studies" by Phu Khai Hung (Southern Institute of Social Studies) and
  • Women’s Changing Image on Television Advertisements by Nguyen Thi Ha, M.A. (Department of Socio-Cultural Research, HCMC Institute of Development Studies).

In Theme Four, the issue on gender awareness, from immemorial time up to present, has always been affected by the social environment. There have been many research projects that mentioned the above argument. Typically it was so at this conference in the presentation of Nguyen Xuan Nghia, PhD. and his colleagues on “Gender Socialization among Young People - Study of Young People Groups in Ho Chi Minh City". When young people are affected, they are described and compared according to the socialization process, in recent years. In addition to family and society, the mass media  increasingly plays an important role in shaping thinking about gender, gender stereotypes and gender discrimination. Overall speaking, stereotypes throughout the period from children to adults are influencing the social structure and the personal acceptance of this transformation. The paper " Women Leaders in Higher Education: The Influence of Vietnamese Culture and Gender Equality Policies – The Case of the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam" by Dang Thi Ngoc Lan, PhD. also uses the theme of gender socialization when it addresses gender inequality at universities and colleges in the Mekong delta. The research especially revolves around analyzing the nature of experiences and challenges during the female advancement process to leadership positions.

Theme 5: Gender and Environment

  • Gender and the Management of Community-based Protected Areas" by Van Ngoc Truc Phuong, M.A. (Surveying and Mapping Faculty at HCMC University of Natural Resources and Environment)
  • Women’s Role in Environmental Resources Protection and Sustainable Development in the Coastal Areas of Quang Ngai Province by Tran Thi Thanh Sa (Department of Geography, University of Social Sciences and Humanities University City).

In Theme Five, the presentation of  "Gender and the Management of Community-based Protected Areas" by Van Ngoc Truc Phuong, M.A. has highlighted the close relationship between species conservation and economic development at the local level in the area associated with people’s practical needs and profound social significance. The research focuses on analyzing the roles of gender mainstreaming in the management of the protected areas as well as the difficulties and challenges in the development of this model. Overall, the research findings show that the level of women’s participation in the conservation tasks is less than men due to some reasons such as the nature of work, gender bias in recruitment and the current community development issues. Many other papers mention gender awareness situation as well as the impact on the economic, cultural and social dimensions.

The workshop has presented and opened an encouraging picture in the research of issues related to gender equality; it is clear that many people in today's society are becoming much more aware of gender equality. Dr. Thai Thi Ngoc Du, Director of the Gender and Society Research Center, was very excited about this year's workshop as it attracted the attention of a number of researchers and lecturers from different agencies and universities in HCMC and some neighboring provinces. Dr. Ngoc Du hoped the researchers will base their articles on suggestions from the participants to conduct further research as well as to broadly expand the presented subject.

In the current situation, scientific research in Vietnam is still limited compared with other countries, therefore, it is necessary to continue the development of these research projects. Some papers in the Gender and Society Research Findings workshop will be selected for inclusion in the Anthology of Gender and Society No. 4  which will be published in 2017.  In addition, researchers who are concerned about gender issues can send their articles and papers to the Gender and Society Research Center to be published on the GAS website. GAS hopes to get more feedback on the organization of this periodical workshop in order to improve the quality of the upcoming workshops.

Reported by Nguyen Hoang Anh Linh

Translated into English by Le Thi Hanh