An Issue of Suicidal Woman and Feminism in Vietnam: Situations, Solutions, and It’s Effects on Society


Gender inequality is a normal and prevalent fact in Vietnam since the early years of the 20th century. However, when Viet Nam was colonized by the French this southeast Asian country was exposed to Western culture including Feminism. Although most social positions were quite varied, traditional views of woman’s role and functions were equally dismal. This led to a widespread phenomenon of woman committing suicide. In this paper, we will carry out research to analyze this nation-wide suicidal tendency and the movement that fought for woman’s equal rights in Vietnam through the survey of the weeky newspaper “Phụ Nữ Tân Văn” (New Woman). It was the most influencial newspaper in Viet Nam from 1929-1935 and it called for constributions by the PNTV to significantly change society’s knowledge about woman and the tribulations of the female labour force. Nevertheness, feminism is still a controversial and complicated issue in Viet Nam because of male chauvinism and Confucianism. Although Vietnamese authorities passed an equal law for woman, in reality women still have to withstand many pre-conceptions that results family violence and the lack of fulfillment of the highly-educated woman. By surveying the text of the newspaper “Phu Nu Tan Van” as well as some contemporary electronic newspapers, analysis of our data related to Vietnamese culture, it’s sociology and the feminist theory, we hope to show a relationship between our traditonal culture and its connection to feminism in contemporary Vietnam.

Author Information
Kim Lan Cao, Institute of Literature, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2017
Stream: South-East Asian Studies (including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)

This paper is part of the ACAS2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon