Vietnamese women consult experts about marriage in Taiwan

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Vietnamese women going to or already living in Taiwan consulted experts about life in Taiwan Friday.

The online counseling session "To duyen ngan dam" (Marriage across thousands of miles) at Taipei Economy and Culture Office in Ho Chi Minh City gave women advice about job hunting, citizenship and marital issues.

Trinh Thi Ngoc Yen, a 25-year-old business assistant in HCMC, asked experts about finding jobs in Taiwan to teach Vietnamese so she can be financially independent.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trinh from Vietnam's southern province of Tay Ninh asked dual citizenship for her and her 2-month-old baby.

Trinh recently separated from her Taiwanese husband after having a tense relationship with the husband's sister.

Since 2007, the Taiwanese government has issued new regulations for marriage brokerage firms, reducing their number from 500 to 33, in order to save foreign women from unexpected miseries such as brutal treatment or prostitution, according to Taiwan Immigration Bureau.

Over the last two decades, poverty has driven thousands of women from poor families, especially the Mekong Delta, to marry older men from South Korea and Taiwan.

Most of these marriages are conducted by illegal brokerage firms, which let couples know little about each other.

In horrifying cases which have come to light in Ho Chi Minh City, women have been paraded in front of Taiwanese men, who pay the brokers once they have chosen their bride-to-be.

The women receive no social support afterwards.

Most women attending the counseling said they would only trust a man introduced by a family member, or someone who has been married to a Taiwanese and is now living in Taiwan.

Nghiem Boi Oanh, 34, has been living in Taipei with her engineer husband and two daughters for more than seven years now.

Oanh said she was introduced to the man by her sister, who has been married to a Taiwanese for ten years.

The Taipei Economy and Culture Office has given handbooks with detailed information to Vietnamese women.

The handbook has advice on common issues with moving abroad, as well as addresses and phone numbers of 25 local agencies and service stations in case of an emergency.

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