Gender imbalance worrisome for Vietnam

At a national workshop on gender imbalance, organized by the Ministry of Health on November 3 in Hanoi, 45 of the 63 provinces of Vietnam said they were faced with a wide imbalance of the sexes at birth.

Last year, the gender ratio in Vietnam was 111.9 boys over 100 girls. This gap has widened further in the first months of this year, with 112.3 boys over 100 girls, reported Duong Quoc Trong, head of the General Office for Family Planning.

Nguyen Viet Tien, Deputy Minister of Health, added that from 1979-1999, sex ratio at birth increased in Vietnam by an average of 0.1 percent per year. However, from 2006 to date, this ratio has been showing a very strong upward trend, upto 1 percent, and is now so high that it is worrisome.

80 percent of localities have an alarming gap, he added. Two northern provinces, Hai Duong and Hung Yen, have a gap of 120 boys over 100 girls.

Addressing the workshop, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan stressed that imbalanced sex ratio at birth is becoming a burning issue and is very worrisome.

Therefore, reducing the gender imbalance at birth is a process that must be done in a variety of synchronized methods, he stated.

Vietnam has set a target to lower the gender gap at birth to 113/100 by 2013 and 115/100 by 2015, otherwise, it is forecast that Vietnam will have 2-3 million unmarried men in the near future.

The imbalance may create social pressure and behavioral problems in the community.

Deputy Prime Minister Nhan said that one of the solutions is to increase the number of social collaborators in population units and health departments should collaborate with gender education programs, so that students have a correct and healthy view on gender and gender equality.

Speaking at the national conference on gender imbalance in Hanoi on November 3, representatives of the United Nations Population Fund proposed that Vietnam should work out measures such as giving subsidies to school girls and supporting families of girls, and carry out effective policies for social welfare to restore gender balance at birth.

The conclusion was that sex discrimination would leave 2-3 million unmarried men in Vietnam if gender disparity continues in the coming years.

Source SGGP, Translated by MT

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