قاعدة بيانات الجنسين والحقوق في الأراضي التابعة لمنظمة الأغذية والزراعة

Vietnam

Customary norms, religious beliefs and social practices that influence gender-differentiated land rights

- According to traditional values, influenced by patriarchal Confucian ethics, the man is the head of the household and has the right to make decisions regarding all family assets, including land. A woman must stay home and run the house and take care of children, while the man looks after family, community and social tasks. Women must unconditionally obey their husband and serve him and the children. They have no rights to be involved in discussions and even to receive guests (23). According to tradition, a woman must obey her father when she is a daughter, her husband in marriage and her son if she is a widow. Therefore, women are dependent on men and are not entitled to make decisions about anything (17).

- Sons are highly valued while daughters are despised because they are traditionally considered valueless.

- Under the head of household system, the wife’s right to joint property is limited, except in cases involving purchase or sale of major property for which the law requires written contracts.

- In the case of divorce, customarily, women have no right to get a share of the family assets earned after marriage and may be forced to leave the house without anything. Many divorced women do not have land for cultivation because both their parents and their husband’s parents do not give them the right to use their land (23). 

- Most of the country’s 54 ethnic groups follow customary practices such as premature marriage of young girls and marriage of a widow to her late husband’s brother (17).

- Some regions of the country, such as the central highland in the South, are still matriarchal. Here the woman is the head of the household and owns the land. In Gia Rai Province, for instance, women make all major decisions about land (17).

Traditional authorities and customary institutions

N/A

Inheritance/succession de facto practices

- Traditionally son-preference is practiced in inheritance (23). In rural areas and among ethnic communities, it is customary for a daughter who gets married to not inherit from her parents. Accordingly, most women do not claim their rights to inheritance (12).

- When a household head dies, it is likely that his son’s name, but not his widow’s name, will be on the land certificate (23).

Discrepancies/gaps between statutory and customary laws

- Although Article 63 the Constitution provides for equality between men and women and prohibits all forms of discrimination against women, patriarchal customary practices inhibit women’s full enjoyment of their personal rights.

- Article 5 of the Civil Code states that women shall enjoy full inheritance rights; however, in rural areas, it is a common practice for married daughters to not claim their share of parental inheritance. Furthermore, in patrilineal communities, son preference is widely practiced (12).

- The 1993 Land Law provides for equal land-use rights between women and men and the 2003 Land Law provides for land-use certificate to bear the names of both husband and wife; however, traditionally, most land-use certificates are in the name of the husband who is considered the head of household (25).

- Article 23 of Decree 70/2001/ND-CP states that the use-rights held or inherited by each spouse prior to marriage shall remain his/her separate private property. Furthermore, Articles 24-25 provide for the division of land use-rights upon divorce. However, in practice, women almost never have land use-rights registered in their own names and customarily do not have the right to a share of the assets acquired during marriage (23).

- The Government’s Decree 23/2002/ND-CP on the application of the Marriage and Family Law to ethnic minorities prohibits customary practices such as widow binding and early marriage, however, such practices are still in use among ethnic minorities (12).

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