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Base de datos de evaluación

Evaluation report

VTN 1999/010: Summary Report on Real Situation and Solutions to Promote Traditional Works Specialised Villages with Majority Female Workers



Author: Thi Thuy, l.; Thi Bon, P.; Thi Minh, N.; Quang Tien, T.; Hong Minh, C.; Vietnam Women's Union

Executive summary

Background

Rural residents in Vietnam account for 80 percent of national population and about 75 percent of national labour force. Year by year, agricultural sector and rural residents are producing increased volume of industrial and handicraft produces to meet consumption needs as well to contribute to the development of national industries and export. Therefore, in rural area traditional works play a very important role. However, reviewing the industrial development in rural areas in the last 10 years, it is visible that the development of rural traditional works that is attracting a lot of female workers is facing challenges.

Purpose / Objective

There have been a number of studies on traditional work specialized villages in some localities but there is no systematic and overall study. Studies on the role of women in the promotion of rural crafts, in particular, remain small.

Objectives of the study:
- Systematize theoretically a number of issues on the promotion of rural traditional works in specialized villages that attract a majority of female workers
- Based on survey results and analysis on the situation of some villages specializing in traditional work, assess the role of women in maintaining and promoting traditional crafts in Vietnam
- Recommend viewpoints and solutions to maintain and promote traditional works and women in crafts in villages

Methodology

Four communes were selected that represent various traditional crafts with a long history of development and a considerable female labor force. A questionnaire was distributed to all households that had a woman involved in crafts. In-depth interviews were conducted with masters and successful entrepreneurs. A desk review of secondary data was conducted.

Key Findings and Conclusions

The development of traditional crafts helps generate employment. At present, there are approximately 1,500 traditional craft villages in Viet Nam employing about 1.5 million workers. In some villages, craft workers account for up to 66% of the labor force. Of the four communes surveyed, 75% to 100% of the households are involved in crafts. The rate of women in the labor force ranges from 70% to 100%. The number of women directly involved in traditional craft production is higher than that of men. Based on survey results, women make more decisions on product sale, production techniques and materials purchasing.

The development of traditional crafts contributes to an improvement in income and living standards in rural areas. Generally, income from traditional crafts is higher than from agricultural production. The average income of a craft person in rural areas is 1.7 to 3.9 times higher than that of a labour merely carrying agricultural production. In the surveyed communes, only 2.3% of households are categorized as poor, with 63% average, 30% well off and 4.8% rich. Income from traditional crafts as a percentage of the total household income ranges from 40% to 60%.

All sites in the survey are close to land and river roads, making transportation of goods easy. In addition, all had electricity from the national power net. All communes have health check points, doctors and nurses. Children's malnutrition in this area has decreased from 40.11% in 1996 to 35.2% in 1998.

Capital investment varies greatly with the form of production. Sometimes, agents provide materials and the household only needs to invest in production tools. By the time of the survey, as many as 82% of surveyed households were using knitting machines and electric silk reelers. In comparison with previous years, in 1998, the investment by households as well as by private entrepreneurs was higher in all surveyed sites. The amount of households that have bank loans to acquire needed capital range from a low of 18.75% in Kim Chinh to a high of 83.05% in Na Phon. Projects lend to 15.63% of households in Kim Chinh compared to 16.94% in Na Phon. Money lenders provide the rest of the capital for 65.63% of households in Kim Chinh.

Craft people used to produce the inputs for production themselves, i.e. making the loom, dyeing, rush growing. After the national union in 1975, and especially since the open-door policy, materials for craft production are available from the market. Most now specialized in one part of the production process. Most workers do not know the input and output price of their products. Some products are exported but workers are unaware of the final market or final price. Private enterprises that place orders may have high profits from crafts.

In all four areas, most of the households wanted to maintain their existing production scale because of their fear of risk. It was found that in Kim Chinh commune, most of the people who expressed an intention to expand their production scale were highly educated.

Most respondents learned their skills from their family or were self taught. Only 3% of respondents learned skills from official training in Minh Lang, 2% in Kim Chinh and none in both Na Phon and Van Phuc.

Possible difficulties and constraints include access to capital, reliance on the potentially volatile market, the already high workload of women in the family and lack of technical training.

Recommendations

Vietnam Women's Union (VWU), with its existing system of vocational centers at the local level, needs to provide women with training on traditional crafts. This should include designing new products to meet market requirements as well as to tap local potential.

Poor women, women in mountainous areas and in traditional villages should be prioritized in VWU credit schemes for craft production. Some credit schemes might be piloted to provide capital to expand production scale.

VWU, in co-operation with related branches, to organize exhibitions of products to promote traditional craft products in domestic and overseas markets, and to assist in involving local people in expanding their understanding of the market.



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Report information

Date:
1999

Region:
EAPRO

Country:
Vietnam

Type:
Survey

Theme:
Income Generation

Partners:
UNICEF

PIDB:

Follow Up:

Language:
English

Sequence Number:
1999/010

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