Men-women wage gap widens in Vietnam

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Women are paid, on average, only 75 percent of men's wages in Vietnam, the International Labor Organization said.

Between 2008 and 2011 the male-female income gap widened by 2 percent, Tim De Meyer, a senior ILO specialist, said.

This was unlike in most parts of the world where the gap shrunk during the period, he said.

Women make less than men in all but two sectors, logistics and housework, Nguyen Kim Lan, ILO national project coordinator, said.

She said the wage disparity is found at all education levels and in the state, private, and foreign sectors.

Some companies are not keen on employing women, saying they tend to devote more time for family than work, she said.  

Fewer opportunities mean many women are forced into low-paid jobs, she said.

Vu Quang Thanh, deputy director of an employment agency in Hanoi, said most men would rather choose strenuous jobs in difficult environments rather than low-paying ones.

Dang Quang Dieu, head of the Vietnam Labor Federation's Institute of Labor and Trade Union, said since women can do as well as men in almost every job, the disparity in wages discourages many of them from working.

Meyer said Vietnam should force employers "to pay [male and female workers] equally for equal work" as stipulated in the Labor Law.

The average wage in the country was US$1,540 last year.

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