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Lima Curtis

Do Vietnamese women expect too much of themsleves?

Excel at work, be perfect at home (Giỏi việc nước, đảm việc nhà) as the old quote goes, reflecting the ideal image of a traditional Vietnamese woman.

Its message is simple; a Vietnamese woman gains respect from those around her only if she is both succeeding at work and fulfilling her duties at home. As well as a worker, she must be a wife, a mother, a daughter and even a good daughter-in-law. Traditionally in Vietnam, a woman’s devotion to her family and willingness to make sacrifices for her for loved ones were deemed to be her most admirable traits.

However, times are changing (albeit slowly) and a recent online survey launched by market research agency Decision Lab suggests that a new ideal may be taking hold. We surveyed 792 office workers in our Online Community between the ages of 22 and 60 and found the majority of females who participated believe an ideal woman in modern Vietnamese society should be:

  • Independent and self-reliant
  • Self-loving and caring
  • Knowledgeable

However, there was a difference in opinion from the male segment! Our study found that most males still imagine the traditional ideals of a loyal woman who fulfills all her duties ("đảm đang") while being tolerant and forgiving.

The most surprising finding from this research is that despite stronger support for independent women, more than 70% of females still believe in the 'excel at work, be perfect at home' ideal. But is it possible to embrace and uphold all these demands or do Vietnamese women expect too much of themselves?

Still curious for some more in-depth sub-analysis, or have a topic in mind that you would like to see us explore in the future? If so, please let us know!