Base de données Genre et le Droit à la Terre


Droits inscrits dans la Constitution

The Constitution, adopted in 1992, amended in 2001:

  • Article 5: “The State applies a policy of equality, solidarity and mutual support among the various ethnic communities and prohibits all acts of ethnic discrimination and division. The various ethnic communities have the right to use their own language and writing, to preserve their ethnic identity and to nurture their fine customs, traditions and cultures.”
  • Article 11: “Citizens exercise their rights as masters at the grass-roots level by taking part in state and social affairs. They have the obligation to protect public property and legitimate rights and interests of citizens, to preserve national security and social order and safety and the organization of public life.”
  • Article 17: “The land, forests, rivers and lakes, water sources, underground natural resources, resources in the territorial waters, on the continental shelf and in the air space, capital funds and properties invested by the State in enterprises and projects in the various branches and fields of the economy, culture, social life, science and technology, foreign affairs and national security and defense and other property defined by law as belonging to the State fall under the ownership of the entire people.”
  • Article 18: “The State assumes the unified administration of land according to overall planning and in conformity with the law and ensures its appropriate and effective use. Land is allocated by the State to organizations and individuals for stable long-term use.
  • Organizations and individuals who use the land are duty-bound to ensure its protection, replenishment, rational exploitation and economical utilization. They are also entitled by law to transfer the right to use the land allocated by the State.”
  • Article 21 provides that individual economic entities, small-holders and the private sector are allowed to choose their forms of production and business. The development of household economy is encouraged.
  • Article 23 states that the legal property of individual or organizations shall not be nationalized.
  • Article 52 stipulates that all citizens are equal before the law.
  • Article 58: “Citizens have the right to ownership of lawful income, savings, housing, personal possessions, means of production, capital and other assets in enterprises or in other economic organisations; the right to use the land allocated by the State is provided for in Article 17 and 18. The State protects the citizen’s right to bequeath and to inherit.”
  • Article 63: “All citizens regardless of their sex have equal rights in all respects, political, economic, cultural, social and in family life. Any discrimination against women and violation of women’s dignity are strictly prohibited.
  • Women and men receive equal pay for equal work. Women workers are entitled to maternity benefits.
  • Women who are public employees or salary-earners are entitled to pre-and post-natal paid leave, as provided by the law.
  • The State and society create favourable conditions for women to improve their knowledge and competence in all respects and increasingly bring into full play their role in society, ensure the development of maternity homes, paediatric wards, creches, kindergartens and other social welfare facilities in order to lighten women’s workload in the family and create favourable conditions for women’s production, work, study, medical treatment, rest and discharge of the duties of motherhood.”
  • Article 64: “The State protects marriage and the family. Male and female citizens have the right to marry on the principle of free consent, progressive orientation, monogamy and equality between husband and wife.” (15)


Droits des femmes sur le patrimoine et l’usage de la terre dans le Code civil, le Code du travail et le Code de la famille

The Civil Code, 1995, amended in 2005:

  • Article 12 stipulates that in case their legitimate rights and interests are violated, citizens have the right to request the court or other competent authorities to intervene. The Civil Code also provides that a civil transaction will be considered invalid if one contracting party use gender difference as an excuse to force women to sign contract or participate in civil transactions, or taking advantage of women’s difficulties to force them enter into civil transactions (12).
  • Article 15 states that every individual shall be entitled to civil rights and obligations with respect to personal rights associated to property, ownership rights and other rights associated with property (16).
  • According to Articles 116 and 118, the household is assumed to be a homogeneous collective in terms of interest.
  • Article 117 determines that “the household head is the representative in civil transactions for the common benefit of the household.”
  • Article 119 stipulates that “the household head shall be responsible for implementation of civil rights, obligations established by its representative on behalf of the household.”
  • Article 8 states that, “in civil relations, all parties are equal, and ethnic, sex... differences of parties shall not be causes of unequal treatment.” (17)
  • Article 33 recognises women rights to ownership of individual property. However both husband and wife are obliged to use part of that property to meet essential needs of their families in the case common property is not sufficient (12).

The Law on Marriage and Family, 1986, revised in 2000:

  • Article 10 establishes that husband and wife are equal to each other and have equal obligations and rights in all aspects of their family (17).
  • Article 27 [2] states that ownership certificates for properties jointly owned by husband and wife must be registered with the names of both spouses.
  • Articles 97 and 98 state that all land acquired during marriage is considered to be a common asset.
  • Article 15 specifies the equal obligations and rights of both wife and husband on joint/common property and requires that, “Buying, selling, exchange, lending, borrowing and other transactions related to large value property shall be made with an agreement of spouses.” (12)

The Decision No. 01-NQ/HDTP, 1988:

  • Article 42 regulates marital property, divorce and division of property upon divorce (17).

Decree 70/2001/ND-CP detailing the implementation of the Marriage and Family Law, 2001:

  • Article 5 [1] states that properties under the common ownership of husband and wife, which require that the names of both husband and wife must be inscribed according to the provisions of Article 27 of the Marriage and Family Law, include: houses, land use right and other properties, to which the ownership right must be registered as required by law.
  • Article 5 [3] stipulates that households that already received land use-right certificates with only the name of the husband or the wife can request a new certificate with the names of both husband and wife. If the husband and wife do not ask for the new registration paper, such property shall still belong to their common ownership.
  • Article 5 [4] provides that in case of divorce, or division of the common properties between husband and wife during marriage, the party that receives the property may request the registration agency to re-grant the property ownership right or property use right registration paper.
  • Article 13 [1]: “The integration of properties being dwelling houses, land use right and other properties of big value under the private ownership of the wife or husband into their common properties according to the provisions in Clause 2, Article 32 of the Marriage and Family Law must be recorded in writing with signatures of both husband and wife. Such record may be notarized or authenticated as prescribed by law.”
  • Article 23: “The land use right shall be the private property of husband or wife. Upon the divorce, the land use right acquired by each party before the marriage, from the transfer, conversion, inheritance or mortgage, or the right to use land assigned or leased to each party by the State shall continue to be the private property of each part.”
  • Article 24-25 provide for the division of land assigned or leased by the State upon divorce (18).

Decree 23/2002/ND-CP on the application of the Marriage and Family Law to ethnic minorities, 2002:

  • Article 6 strictly forbids forced marriage between a widow or widower with another member of the family of the ex-husband or ex-wife without agreement of that person.
  • Article 9 prohibits commercially motivated wedding request and acts that hinder marriage or violate women’s dignity and customs and practices that allow the reclaim property or impose of penalty when divorced.
  • Article 10 provides that backward customs and practices that have bad effects on ethnic women must be eliminated gradually through flexible and strict ways.
  • Article 13 encourages people to get rid of customs and practices that discriminate between son and daughter (12).

The  Law on Organization of People’s Courts, 2002

  • Article 8 of stipulates that the court proceeds according to the principle that every citizen is equal before law regardless of sex, nationality and religion (12).

The 1994 Labour Code has a chapter on special provisions concerning female workers (16).

Mécanismes juridiques d’héritage/de succession

Civil Code, 1995 amended in 2005:

  • Article 15 states that every individual shall enjoy full inheritance rights.
  • Article 245 provides that heirs have the rights of ownership over the inherited property.
  • Article 631 states that every individual has the rights to make a will to determine their properties; to leave properties to heirs as well as to inherit a property according to a will or laws.
  • Article 632: “Every individual shall be equal in the right to bequeath his/her property to another person and the right to inherit property under a testament or according to law.”
  • Under Article 663, husband and wife may make a joint testament to dispose of their common property.
  • Article 669 states that minor children, father, mother, wife or husband and adult children without working capacity are entitled to an estate portion which is equivalent to two-thirds of the portion given to an heir at law, where they are not allowed by the testator to enjoy the estate or are allowed to enjoy only a portion less than two-thirds of their due part.
  • Article 676 sets forth the rank of the heirs at law. Husbands, wives and children are heirs of first rank.
  • Article 734: “Individuals who are assigned or leased land by the State or are transferred the land use rights shall have the right to bequeath the land use rights as provided for in Part Four of this Code and the land law.”
  • Article 735 provides that if a member of a family household who was assigned land by the State dies, such member’s land use rights is left to his/her heirs in accordance with the provisions the Code and the land law (16).

Législation foncière

Land Law, 1993, amended in 1998 and 2001:

  • Introduced official land titles in the form of land-use certificates (LUCs) and allowed land transactions, aiming at creating a market in land-use rights.
  • Land is the property of the state, but use rights can be transferred and exchanged, leased, mortgaged and inherited.
  • Intermittent commune reallocations of land to accommodate changes in household size and composition are expressly prohibited (13).
  • Provides for equal land-use rights between women and men.
  • Land use certificates do not provide for absolute ownership but for stable long-term use.
  • Households with land certificates are granted the rights of use, transfer, release, inheritance and mortgage of the land (17).

Law on Land, 2003:

  • Article 5(1): “Land belongs to the entire people with the State as the representative owner.”
  • Article 5(2) provides that the State shall exercise the right of disposal of land as follows:
    i. Decide land use purposes by considering and approving land use zoning and land use plans.
    ii. Decide the quotas on allocation of land and on duration of land use.
    iii. Decide allocation of land, lease of land, land recovery, and permission for conversion of land use purpose.
    iv. Determine land prices.
  • Article 6(1): “The State shall uniformly exercise administration of land.”
  • Article 10(1): “The State shall issue certificates of land use right to land users.”
  • Article 37(2): “People’s committees of districts, towns and provincial cities shall make decisions on allocating land, leasing land or permitting conversion of land use purpose with respect to family households and individuals, and on allocating land to communities of citizens.”
  • Article 48(3) provides for land-use certificate to bear the names of both husband and wife if the land-use right is their shared property. Where a number of individuals, family households and organizations are users of the land, a certificate of land use right shall be issued to each individual, family household and organization being a land co-user.
  • Article 52(2): “People’s committees of districts, towns and provincial cities shall issue certificates of land use right to family households, individuals, communities of citizens, and Vietnamese residing overseas who purchase residential housing attached to residential land.”
  • Article 64(1): “A system for organization of administrative bodies for land shall be uniformly established from the central to the grass-roots level.”
  • Article 64(2) states that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall be the central administrative body for land. Local administrative bodies for land shall be established in provinces and cities under central authority and in districts, towns and provincial cities.
  • Article 65(1) states that communes, wards and townships shall have land administration officials.
  • Article 66 provides that agricultural land users shall be permitted to use land on a stable and long-term basis.
  • Article 70(1) and (3] states that each family household or individual shall be allocated no more than three hectares of land for planting annual crops, land for aquaculture and land for salt production, no more than 10 hectares for planting perennial crops and no more than 30 hectares of forest land.
  • Article 71(1): “Agricultural land used by family households and individuals shall comprise agricultural land allocated or leased by the State; the land use rights for which are leased from other organizations, family households or individuals; the land use rights for which are assigned, inherited or donated in accordance with law.” (19)

Mesures politiques/mécanismes institutionnels favorisant ou freinant l’application des droits des femmes sur la terre

- The national machinery for the advancement of women and gender equality includes the National Committee for the Advancement of Women (NCFAW), Committees for the Advancement of women (CFAWs) in different sectors and at all levels, and the Viet Nam Women’s Union (VWU).

- The National Committee for the Advancement of Women, established in 1993, is comprised of 18 members from key line ministries and central organizations. NCFAW has the following tasks and responsibilities:
i. Advise the Prime Minister to develop and monitor the implementation of the National Strategy and Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women; coordinate with relevant agencies to make policy proposals to the Prime Minister in areas of gender equality and advancement of women.
ii. Coordinate with relevant agencies to monitor and promote the implementation of women related policy and laws in line ministries, sectors, central cities and provinces.
iii. Act as a national focal point for international cooperation in areas of gender equality and advancement of women (20).

- The 2001 Circular 1900/2001/TT-TCDC by the Department of Land Office sets forth procedures to allocate the right to land-use without any discrimination with regards to the sex of the land-users. Both women and men are equally entitled to land allotment and rent from the State (12).

- The 2005 Gender Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development has the strategic objectives to:
i. reduce poverty by introducing policies and programmes for agriculture and rural development;
ii. improve gender equality and enhance the position of women within the agriculture and rural sector;
iii. institutionalize the inclusion of gender in the designing, planning and introduction of agriculture and rural development programmes.
In order to improve women’s access to land, the strategy provides that the “names of both wife and husband must be stated in certificates of land use rights”. The government has committed to launch campaigns of propaganda and training courses for cadres at the province, district and commune’s levels in order to ensure compliance with the legal provisions (21).

- In 2003, the Government approved the Dissemination and Education Programme for the 2003-2007 period, which provides that women are beneficiaries of legal dissemination and education. The programme also focuses on regulations related to women’s rights in the areas of marriage and family and in the political, economic, cultural and social spheres (12).

- The Gender Strategy in Agriculture and Rural Development to the year 2010 has, among its objectives to:
i. increase rural women’s access to and control of key resources, including land, credit, water resources, infrastructure and public service;
ii. integrate gender targets and sex-disaggregated tools in policies,  plans, programmes and development projects of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the sector;
iii. achieve gender sensitive practices and gender equality in agricultural research, public services and training;
iv. increase women’s empowerment and access to decision-making in key institutions in the sector, including People’s Committees at all levels, agricultural universities, institutes, colleges, vocational schools and enterprises (22).

Sources:  Les nombres affichés entre parenthèse (*) font référence aux sources énumérées dans la Bibliographie.