Challenges and opportunities of the EU-Vietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement for women and civil society

TitleChallenges and opportunities of the EU-Vietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement for women and civil society
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsHoang_Quoc_Chinh _, Nguyen_Thi_Hoa _, Nguyen_Thanh_Hien _, Vu_Thi_Bich_Hop _
Key themesCivilSociety-Donors, Environment, Formalisation-titling, Gender

WEB INTRODUCTION: Vietnam is currently preparing to implement its Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU. It is expected to generate economic, social, and environmental benefits and to ensure safeguards to protect vulnerable stakeholders who may have limited capacity to meet the VPA requirements. Due to their pre-existing position in the forestry sector, women are considered a vulnerable group. Strictly enforcing VPA standards may pressure small businesses, leading them to either close down or undergo restructuring. As women are often employed as short-term unskilled workers, they may face increased job insecurity. Male workers have better prospects as they often take more skilled and permanent roles. On the other hand, rigorous enforcement may also raise safety, labour and health standards for all. This could benefit uncontracted short-term female workers. Modernising the timber value chain may also increase pay and opportunities for training. Gender disparities in land titling could become more noticeable after VPA implementation. Due to discriminatory practices in rural areas, women often do not have their names registered in land use right certificates. With the VPA implementation, this could hinder women’s ability to make decisions regarding timber harvesting. Implementation of the VPA will take place through a multi-stakeholder mechanism. This presents an opportunity to address gender issues, by enabling Vietnamese NGOs to participate in monitoring and evaluating the VPA’s impacts on women.


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