ILO Research Department Webinar

Gender and the labour market in Viet Nam

An analysis based on the Viet Nam Labour Force Survey


This Research Webinar will focus on gender inequalities in Viet Nam’s labour market, using recent research carried out by the ILO Country Office in Hanoi.

Labour market participation of women is remarkably high in Viet Nam. Such a high level of female economic activity may be mistaken as an indicator of relatively limited gender inequality in the country. Using data from Viet Nam’s Labour Force Survey, this brief takes a wider approach, and assesses not only access to employment, but also employment quality. The findings show that women in Viet Nam carry a disproportionate double burden, and they face multiple and persistent inequalities. COVID-19 has not only exacerbated such existing labour market inequalities, but it has created new ones.

The Research webinar will offer the opportunity to bring country-level research experience to the attention of global and regional experts. The findings of the brief will be presented and discussed. In addition, the authors will share their experience with analysing new data on time use, produced by the General Statistical Office of Viet Nam (GSO) for the first time, as well as with presenting them effectively to raise awareness of gender inequalities in a national context where their full extent is not recognized.


• Present findings of the first ILO research brief based on LFS data and entirely focussing on gender in Viet Nam;
• Discuss lessons learned on the type of research that benefits national constituents the most;
• Discuss further research ideas in the area of gender in Viet Nam and in Asia and the Pacific.


Chair: Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Deputy Director, ILO Research

William Cole
William studied Economics at the University of Birmingham and at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He started working for the ILO in October 2018. The major project he worked on was developing a brand new set of indicators of women's labour market outcomes by the characteristics of their households. He left the ILO in January this year, to work in the UK's Civil Service on the economic response to Covid-19 - particularly on analysis of the employment support schemes.
 Mia Urbano
Mia Urbano is the Senior Gender Equality and Social Development Adviser to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for Vietnam and Myanmar. Previously, over the period 2013-18, Mia was DFAT’s Regional Social Development Specialist for mainland South East Asia, based in Hanoi. Mia provides advice for Australia’s foreign policy and development cooperation agenda, with a focus on promoting gender equality and addressing exclusion on the basis of ethnicity, disability, age and sexuality. Mia is currently a technical advisor to the national prevalence surveys on violence against women and girls in Vietnam and Myanmar, and to Vietnam’s 2nd National Gender Equality Strategy. Through her DFAT role, she is Team Leader of the multi-agency national country gender assessment in Vietnam for 2020 (with, UN Women, ADB and ILO), and has published on a range of social issues in South East Asia.
Sara Elder
Sara is the Senior Economist and Head of the Regional Economic and Social Analysis (RESA) Unit in the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. RESA oversees multi-country, multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral research and policy analysis related to key issues and themes of relevance to the Decent Work Agenda and its implementation in Asia and the Pacific. Prior to her transfer to Bangkok, Sara spent five years as Chief Technical Advisor on the ILO Work4Youth Project and more than ten years working in the area of labour market information and analysis in the Employment Trends Unit. She has written extensively on issues of labour market transitions of young people, labour market and employment trends. She holds a MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics.
Valentina Barcucci
Valentina Barcucci is Labour Economist at the ILO Country Office for Viet Nam. Her areas of expertise include, among others, labour market analysis, employment policy development, skills and employability promotion, and youth employment. She has led regional programmes on the transition from school to work in Asia and the Pacific and in Sub-Saharan Africa, and assisted ILO member states on evidence-based policy-making in South-East Asia, Eastern Europe and the Arab States. Valentina holds an MSc on business and economics from the University of Genoa (Italy) as well as an MSc in development from the London School of Economics, and later pursued leadership education at Harvard Extension School. She started her career in business strategy consulting in the early 2000s, before joining the ILO in 2008. She has previously served at ILO Headquarters, as well as at the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and in the South Pacific.


  1. Opening
  2. Presentation: What is surprising in the impact of COVID-19 on Viet Nam’s labour market?
  3. Remarks by discussants
  4. Open discussion
  5. Closing

Joining details

Date and time: Wednesday, 14 April 2021 from 9:30 - 10:45 CET
Link to Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID:  951 6164 9422
Passcode: 657813