According to Confucianism, a woman having but a passive role, must follow three obediences: at home, to obey the father (tại gia tòng phụ); married, to obey the husband (xuất giá tòng phu); and in case of the husbands death, to obey the children (phu tử tòng tử).

Vietnamese women in the past were constrained with three obedience (tam tòng)

Vietnamese women in the past were constrained with three obediences (tam tòng)

The violation of these brings social blame and sometimes even punishments.