Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences
Name: Institute for Family and Gender Studies
Phone: 84-4.3 825 2372
Fax: 84-4.3 933 2890
Address: No 6, Dinh Cong Trang, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Functions and tasks of the Institute for Family and Gender Studies

The Institute for Family and Gender Studies (IFGS) is a research institution under the administration of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. The basic functions of the Institute include: (1) to do theoretical and empirical research on family and gender issues, in order to build scientific grounds for the Communist Party and the State strategy-planning and policy-making; and (2) to provide training and consultancy involved with family and gender matters in Vietnam.

Major tasks undertaken by the Institute

1. To submit 5-year research and training strategies and yearly plans to the president of VASS and carry out implementation of the strategies and plans, after they are approved.

2. To do theoretical and empirical research on basic family and gender issues in Vietnam.

3. To combine research and training together, providing graduate and postgraduate training activities in the field of gender and family as well as taking part in high-qualified human resource development to meet the needs of VASS and other institutions/organizations.

4. To hold verification and scientific appraisal of important socio-economic development programs/projects at different ministries, sectors and locations as assigned by VASS.

5. To provide scientific consultancy and socio-economic service appropriately with the Institute functions and tasks.

6. To carry out international cooperation in research and training according to the current regulations.

7. To sign and implement research agreements with local as well as international partners in accordance with the law of Vietnam and regulations of VASS.    

8. To exchange academic information with domestic and international partners in accordance with the regulations; to be responsible for management of the Institute literatures and library; to make scientific publications; and to disseminate research findings as well as academic knowledge of family, women and gender

For the past 25 years, the Institute for Family and Gender Studies has done 25 State-level research projects, 35 Ministerial-level research projects, and more than 40 projects in cooperation with local and international partners. For the early years of its establishment, the Institute focused research works on women-related issues, including: working conditions of female laborers in agricultural, forestry, and industrial zones; women and employment; women with rural economic development; the role of women in family; single women etc… From 1992 up to now, however, the Institute has focused more on issues involved with family, gender and gender equality. A range of diversified research projects have been done. On the occasion of the International Year of the Family (1994), family-related research attracted more attention and many projects were, therefore, carried out, such as: The role of family in personality formation and development among Vietnamese people; Family education; and, Healthcare in family; Population and family planning etc…

In 2004, the restructuring took place at the Institute. Consequently, some changes in the research content were made, making it more appropriate with the Institute’s functions and tasks. As a result, research topics became more comprehensive and the Institute paid more attention to building scientific grounds for policy-making of the State and the Party. The Institute particularly focused its research projects on basic issues involved with gender, family, children and the elderly, aiming at providing relevant policy recommendations.

Results of “the basic survey on the actual state of gender equality” conducted in 2004-2006 was submitted directly to Mrs. Truong My Hoa, the Vice President of Vietnam, and other leaders of the Central as well as local governments at that time. It contributed a considerable part towards setting up sources of practical data for policy makers as well as for building the Law on Gender Equality in Vietnam.

The survey on the Family in Vietnam conducted in 2006 by the Institute in cooperation with Vietnam Commission for Population, Family and Children, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the General Statistic Office of Vietnam, and UNICEF, provided comprehensive information about changes in family relationships as well as in the role and responsibility of family members. At the same time, the survey results partly elucidated changes in values and norms of the family under the impact of industrialization and modernization. The survey properly showed practical evidences, based on which the Government issued appropriate policies and regulations, especially those involved with implementation of the Law on Gender Equality and the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control, which had been just promulgated.

Besides, the Institute’s research projects on basic issues of the family have also revealed and interpreted new family issues. They highlighted characteristics and showed the changing tendencies of the family in Doi moi. Domestic violence-related research works played an important role in identifying acts of violence and analyzing influential factors and causes. They also suggested effective measures to minimize the situation of violence. Findings of the research works were then used as the basis of scientific arguments for building the law, resolutions, and social policies that aimed at improving the role of the family in keeping happiness of family members and strengthening social development and stability as well.

Research works on the elderly provided analyses and assessments of the current policies involved with old people, based on which appropriate elderly-related policies have been made for the current context. Those policies are really necessary, especially when our population is ageing rapidly and we are urgently in need of building strategically social safety nets.

Apart from research works on basic issues, the Institute has also strengthened theoretical research. There has been effective combination between theoretical and practical research. Practical results are used to verify theoretical arguments; in the other hand, practical findings are generalized into theories. Furthermore, qualitative research and quantitative research have been combined closely to increase quality of research works on the family, gender, women, and children issues…

In addition to research achievements, the Institute has also gained significant achievements in consultancy, training and knowledge disseminating activities as described below:

After being established, the Center for Women Research (the predecessor of the Institute for Family and Gender Study) was the first and unique governmental institution to carry our research activities on gender, women, their roles and status in family and society as well. A lot of local and international institutions/organizations, therefore, set up cooperation with the Center in designing and conducting research programs on women in Vietnam. The institutions that set up cooperation with the Institute can be listed chronologically as below: Vietnam Women’s Union; the Ministry of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs; SAREC; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); ESCAP; some international non-governmental organizations (such as CIDSE, the US Commission on Population, the Ford Foundation); some other governmental and local organizations (such as the Ministry of Investments and Planning, the Ministry of Health, the Commission on Population, Family and Children, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism); and other international organizations (such as UNICEF, UNWOMEN, CARE International, JICA, Action Aid, Gender Fund, IDRC... )

Regarding to the consultancy work, the Institute has provided consultancy for a number of the law, policy, strategies, and national programs, such as: drafts of the Law on Gender Equality and instructional decrees; the National Strategy on Gender Equality for the 2011 – 2015 period; The National Targeted Program on Gender Equality for the 2011 – 2015 period (the Ministry of Labor-Invalids and Social Affairs); the Law on Domestic Prevention and Control and instructional decrees (Vietnam Women’s Union, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism); the 2011 – 2020 Strategy on the Vietnamese Family Development (the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism); the 2011 - 2020 Strategy on Population and Productivity Health (the Ministry of Health); the 2011 – 2015 Socio-economic Development Plan (the Ministry of Investments and Planning); Particular Policy for Gender Equality Activities in the remote and mountainous areas, the areas of ethnic minorities and the areas of very difficult socio-economic conditions (the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs); The Program for Building Women’s Virtuous Lifestyle and Housemaids’ Service (Vietnam Women’s Union); Preliminary summing-up of performance of the Politburo’s Resolution No.11 on women-related work (the Central Public Relations Committee); and many works at other institutions and social organizations… A lot of findings and recommendations drawn from evaluating and consulting activities, in which the Institute’s researchers took part, have been applied in practice and highly appreciated by local as well as international institutions/organizations.

At present, the Institute’s researchers are enthusiastically taking part in graduate and postgraduate training undertaken by Graduate Academy of Social Sciences (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences) and other training institutions such as Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration (HCMA); Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities (the National University); Hanoi Law University; Vietnam Women’s Academy; Academy of Journalism and Communication etc… Those activities have contributed a part towards disseminating gender and family-related knowledge and research skills, owing to which the prestige of the Institute has also increased.

In addition to taking part in giving lectures at universities, the Institute’s researchers have collaborated with foreign research institutes and universities to hold many training courses on gender issues with participation of those from different relevant ministries and institutions. The Institute has also provided training with different topics for different types of participants; for example, the training on gender-based analysis and gender-mainstreaming planning for cadres of the Central and local institutions; the training on gender-related issues and community development for local people; and, the training on legal awareness and equality for women etc…

Dissemination of knowledge and research findings is one of the key tasks undertaken by the Institute for Family and Gender Studies. This task has been excellently accomplished through following ways:

Journal publishing

For the past years, “Vietnam Journal of Family and Gender Studies” has been a useful forum for scholars to exchange academic knowledge and research experience. Papers in the Journal show research results as well as thinking of scientists and management officials in the field of women, family and gender equality.

Apart from Vietnamese versions, the Institute also publishes the Journal in English versions. This expresses a great effort made by all researchers and staff of the Institute. It makes a significant contribution towards introducing findings of the research works on women, family and gender in our country to international readers. Accordingly, it not only describes the Government’s and the Party’s basic opinions and directions involved with gender and family, but also provides diversified information on socio-economic renovation in Vietnam.  

Book publishing

The Institute has published more than 50 books and 11 proceedings in total since it was established. Especially, it has published 2 books and 1 proceedings on basic statistic data of women, family and gender equality.

Besides, the Institute has also translated and published gender and women-related theoretical books that contain conceptions, terms, methodology, approaches, analyzing frameworks of the actual state, and identification of prior topics… Experience, analysis skills, and gender planning have been initially learned and applied by the Institute’s researchers in designing gender research and teaching documents to provide theories, methodology and skills for lecturers and relevant people in different sectors (for example, the curriculum for gender training; the curriculum for gender and poverty reduction training; the training curriculum for gender awareness and gender mainstreaming enhancement).  

Information and literature - library - website

The library of the Institute for Family and Gender Studies contains 8,000 titles of books and 40 types of both international and domestic journals. Literatures being kept at the Institute’s library are relatively diversified, including books, conference proceedings, reference books, survey data collections, etc… The electronic database of the library has been step-by-step improved, making it more convenient for researchers to access information. By now, 17,000 indexes and records have been input into the library database. For many years, the Institute’s library has been a familiar address for researchers, lecturers, practitioners, PhD candidates and graduate students, who come to refer to documents on family and gender issues.

At the website of the Institute,, ones can find latest news on scientific activities as well as research projects carried out by the Institute for Family and Gender Studies. They include the State-level projects, the Ministerial-level projects, and International cooperation projects etc… At the website, ones can easily access books and literatures of the Institute’s library that are involved with topics on family, gender, women and children.

Thanks to outstanding achievements, the Institute for Family and Gender Studies has received many noble rewards from the Party, the State and leaders of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, such as: the Third Labor Medal; the Praise Certificate from the Prime Minister; the Excellent Emulation Flag from Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences; the title “Excellent Labor Collective” and “Excellent Individuals’ awarded by the President of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences etc…