Social protection

Factory women workers empowered with knowledge on health-related social security benefits in Viet Nam

News | 04 August 2020
Female workers of an electronic company in Bac Ninh Province hold the booklets distributed at the awareness raising event on social health protection.
HANOI (ILO News) – More than 1,100 women workers in industrial zones in Bac Ninh and Binh Duong provinces attended communication events on health-related benefits of the social security system in July.

The events were part of the cooperation initiative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) under the ILO – Lux project “Support to the extension of social health protection in Southeast Asia”.

Protecting people health and ensuring their minimum income in case of illness is critical at the heart of todays’ concern, particularly in the current global crisis of COVID-19. However, a recent knowledge and information needs assessment, supported by the ILO and VGCL, revealed that despite fair general knowledge on basic benefits, female workers have limited understanding of detailed entitlements, eligibility and procedures for access.

It is crucial that Vietnamese female workers are fully aware of their rights to social health protection, and that their entitlements are upheld and fully utilised.

“Social security is a human right provided in Viet Nam’s 2013 Constitution. Social security, including social health protection, is both an ultimate objective and a tool for sustainable economic growth and social development of our country. Women workers should be at the centre of the development,” said Do Hong Van, Vice Director of Women’s Affairs under VGCL.

During the communication events, speakers from ILO, Provincial Trade Union, provincial Social Security and provincial Department of Labour and Social Affairs provided practical information on social security benefits through panel discussion and Question and Answers session.

Worker participants actively took part in the Quiz session which aimed to raise awareness on on health-focused social security benefits.

A Booklet entitled “Useful information on health-related social security benefits for factory workers” were also distributed at the events, It expected to become a reference material for factory workers and their families to better enjoy their rights and benefits.

Truong Thi Hong Hanh, a worker from Triumph Company at Song Than Industrial Zone in Binh Duong Province, said: “My mum has got a cancer, so I understand how meaningful health insurance is. Without it, my family could not have afforded the costly and lengthy treatment. But not all colleagues in my company have clear understanding, often it is considered an obligation that they have to contribute to rather than a direct benefit whenever they are at risk. I wish those kinds of forum will be held more regularly at our factory and at the community”.

VGCL communication efforts will continue to intensify over the coming months to inform more workers on their rights to social security.