Oxfam and CEPEW recently published the report “Trust and Choice of the Public – Women’s Leadership in Politics” which presents the outcomes of a study on public perception on women’s leadership in politics in Vietnam conducted in 2014. The study shows that a majority of the public have trust in women’s capacities in taking political leadership positions. However, their choice does not reflect their trust. What influenced their choice of selecting political leaders? Gender stereotypes and imposed expectations and criteria on leading women were identified as the main hindrances. Women are expected to fulfil their family duties and excel at work at the same time. In addition, women leaders are judged by how they look, what clothes they are wearing, which create double pressure on them. Surprisingly, gender stereotypes are highly prevalent among older and more educated groups, particularly among the civil servant groups who are considered more forward-looking. Hence, our recommendations call for changes in people’s awareness and institutional practice. Suggestions like changing the way mass media is portraying women leaders, and institutionalizing and implementing gender equality policies to enhance women’s political participation are critical to achieving changes in public perception on women’s leadership in politics in Vietnam.
For the full report, please refer to our resource center: Trust and Choice of the Public – WPL – Jul 2015