The Right to Education for Ethnic Minority Women and Girls in Vietnam

Challenges and Recommendations


The right to education is a fundamental human right that has been widely recognized by the United Nations and in core international human rights instruments.  Over the years as an active and responsible member of the international community, Vietnam has always worked on amending its laws to fulfill international commitments that would create an equal legal environment for the enjoyment of fundamental rights, including the right to access education. However, given their unique characteristics, ethnic minority women and girls still face discrimination and dual inequalities in their living environment, including those arising from both their ethnicity and gender. Difficulties in accessing education have led to a low percentage of ethnic minority women working in professional and technical jobs; most do simple jobs with low incomes. Barriers to education or employment generally arise due to gender stereotypes and male chauvinism. With this in mind, this article will focus on the following matters to address and resolve issues related to the right to education for ethnic minority women and girls in Vietnam: (i) an analysis of the international legal framework and Vietnam’s law on topics of gender equality in education for ethnic minority women and girls; (ii) a discussion on the reality of adopting rights to education for ethnic minority women and girls in Vietnam; (iii) identification of barriers and challenges that ethnic minority women and girls face when pursuing their educational rights; and (iv) recommendations for Vietnam to ensure the right to education for ethnic minority women and girls in the future.


Keywords: Human rights, minority’s rights, the right to education, gender equality, women’s rights.

Author Biography

Nguyen Thi Hong Yen, Hanoi Law University, Vietnam

Dr.NguyenThiHongYen is an expert on International law and human rights law in Vietnam with nearly 15 years researching and teaching in the field. She is currently Head of Public International Law Division of Hanoi Law University (HLU) of Vietnam and the FoundingMemberofAsianAssociationofLawProfessors(AALP) and member of Vietnam Association of International Law (VSIL). She has carried out some research projects and published a lot of books and articles in prestigious law journals in Vietnam and international workshop/conferences regarding to the above concerns. From 2012-2015 she was known as an independent expert who joined to build up the National Action Plan on the Implementation of the recommendations accepted by Vietnam during the 2nd cycle of UPR. She also did the middle-term research on human rights at The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Lund University, Sweden)and became fellows at Norwegians Centre for human rights of Oslo University and The Hague Academy of International Law (The Netherlands).


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How to Cite
YEN, Nguyen Thi Hong; HOANG, Do Qui. The Right to Education for Ethnic Minority Women and Girls in Vietnam. Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 250-276, dec. 2022. ISSN 2599-2147. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 mar. 2023. doi:

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