The Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has issued a new decree, effective from Dec. 15, 2013, specifying 38 jobs that employers are not allowed to hire women for.
Specifically, the list includes various professions ranging from metal processing, seafaring (except to provide healthcare and food), carrying goods of over 50 kg and work that requires them to come into contact with human corpses, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported Friday.
Employers are also banned from hiring women to explore dangerous mountainous areas, work as professional divers, do dredging or mining work or work regularly on oil rigs, according to the decree which will take effect from Dec. 15.
In addition, the decree includes another list specifying 39 other jobs from which employers are not allowed to employ pregnant women or those with babies less than 12 months old to protect the wellbeing of the women and their children.
The list includes work that involves exposure to toxic chemicals, radioactive substances or work that requires heavy physical exertion such as operating large machinery, carrying over 12 kg or working in an uncomfortable environment, such as extreme temperatures or confined narrow spaces.
In response to concerns over the impact of the new regulation on the livelihoods of those affected, Bui Duc Nhuong, deputy director of MOLISA's Labor Safety Department, said it was nevertheless good for women and protected them from health- threatening jobs.
VNA quoted a labor policy expert working for the ministry as saying that although the number of women currently employed in the professions highlighted by the decree was not very high, it would be a challenge for authorities to control in disadvantaged and remote areas.
Statistics from the Population and Housing Survey in 2009 showed that the female working rate was 72.3 percent, lower than male working rate of 81 percent.