Women In Vietnam

Towards the end to the Twentieth century, Vietnam a rapidly changing country goes through a political and social transition, from a socialist to an open market "capitalist type" society. Since the late 1980\'s Vietnam has adjusted it\'s economy to compete with the world. In doing so, the country undergoes many political and social reforms. Ideals of the west have been implemented into Vietnams "market" economy. There is definitely a change that is occurring however the social status of women in Vietnam has not changed much. Moreover Vietnam\'s transformation into the global economy has created large social gaps, which in turn creates many social inequalities, in particular, women in the sex industry.
The sex industry has always been a profitable industry. One can find this to be the case in many parts of the world. But what is it that makes the Vietnamese "Pleasure Industry" different? By using the works of Nguyen-Vo (Governing the Social: Prostitution and Liberal governance in Vietnam during Marketization) and Tran (Through the eye of the Needle: Vietnamese Textile and Garment Industries, Rejoining the Global Economy), I will discuss the problematic conditions of women in lower economic class of Vietnam.
Prostitution is considered a "social evil" in Vietnam, but being deemed "evil" does not put an end to this endemic problem that has been around for thousands of years. Prostitution is an issue that few individuals have taken to fully understand and in this case, the issue is misunderstood and many voices go unheard. Classified as "whores", the women of the lower class in Vietnam don\'t have much to turn to. Vietnam\'s open economy has only created a bigger market for "pleasure". Gradually the identity of the young ladies in Vietnam become more and more of a commodity, well at least in the eyes of the foreigner. "Foreign guest\' sought out a \'taste of nice and cool specialty dishes of Vietnam\'. High quality goods, whores deluxe" and so on (Nguyen-vo, 92-93). Being identified as "high quality goods", they do what is expected from them and they survive. Due to the lack of education, these girls find themselves lost in the advancing city. Their hopes for success are crushed and with it lies the memories of disparity, the starvation of childhood, the beating of the drunken father, and many other troubles of poverty.
A society living under the Communist idea of all being equal; come to realize that reality is far more complex. In ever society lies different social classes. Each class is looked at differently and unfortunately, treated differently too. What can be done to change things for the better? As the government of Vietnam attempts to end the everlasting problem of prostitution, they implement ideas that are genuinely bogus. Creating prison like education camps for many of these young girls caught in the world of prostitution was an idea that would be easy to cash in on. This definitely proves to be the case for those who were unlucky enough to experience this sad reality. Forced into becoming what is so called the "traditional women". One might ask what is it that is deemed traditional? According to the "changing" society of Vietnam, women must follow the old rules of Confucianism, an idea that has obviously sickened the East. The so-called "social evils" are taught "tradition, morality and ethics" (Nguyen-vo, 397). This ethical education served the wardens of these camps as sources of income and free labor. As their life become less livable, the girls in these camps resort hope a hope of a better life, in order to get by. The jobs that were suited for these girls are unbearable, at least to many of us who are from Western Society. "All of the jobs taught to women in the camps made slow and monotonous work that required much patience. Most of them required a high degree of dexterity" (Nguyen-vo, 391). This is what is expected from them, instead of extracting the creativity and art in these girls, the camps force them to do what is considered best for them. Once they are done serving "time" the are released back into the concrete jungle. Searching for the life that they longed for, however with the skills they have learned, the only