Political representation and women in Vietnam: A Feminist Institutionalist analysis

Louise Chappell1, Luong Thu Hien1, Fiona McKay1, Caitlin Hamilton1, My Linh Chau1.

1UNSW Sydney

Vietnam has in place an impressive body of laws and policies designed to include women in a more meaningful way in politics. Despite this, women are represented in far fewer numbers than are their male colleagues and quotas remain unfilled. Drawing from primary qualitative data collected in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and using a Feminist Institutionalist framework, we explore the informal rules and processes that have a detrimental impact on women’s representation in Vietnamese politics, and explain why these informal institutions have rendered the formal policies largely ineffective. We identify the specific informal institutions that hinder the progress of women across all three phases of their careers (recruitment, promotion and retirement) and offer some preliminary views of what the case of Vietnam can add to the Feminist Institutionalist body of scholarship.


Professor Louise Chappell is Director of the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney. A Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2010-14), Louise’s research interests are in the areas of women’s rights; gender, politics and institutions and comparative federalism and public policy.

Dr Caitlin Hamilton is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney. Caitlin’s research interests lie in gender and politics, with a focus on the UN’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and the intersections of popular culture and world politics – especially the everyday world politics of textiles.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.

Photo Credits: Visit Victoria

© 2019 Conference Design Pty Ltd