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VN starts campaign for gender equality

Update: October, 19/2015 - 09:11
The General Office for Population and Family Planning (GOPFP), in co-ordination with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on Saturday launched the campaign, "Stop gender discrimination, stop gender-biased sex selection". — Photo UNFPA Vietnam

HA NOI (VNS) — The General Office for Population and Family Planning (GOPFP), in co-ordination with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on Saturday launched the campaign, "Stop gender discrimination, stop gender-biased sex selection".

The campaign seeks to increase the country's awareness of the consequences of gender-biased sex selection, and calling for more efforts from the Government and concerned agencies to address gender imbalance issues.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister of Health Pham Le Tuan said that the imbalanced sex ratio at birth would negatively affect Viet Nam's population structure in the future, resulting in an excess of men in society.

Further, this imbalance could have grave consequences for the country's socio-economic development and for the well-being of women, men, families and communities. For a scarcity of young women would make it difficult for a large group of men to find a marriage partner, said Tuan.

If no intervention occurs, it was estimated that by 2050 Viet Nam would be confronted with a surplus of some 2.3 to 4.3 million men who would not be able to find wives, he said.

Sex imbalances at birth in Viet Nam increased from 106.2 boys/ 100 girls in 2000 to 112.2 boys/ 100 girls in 2014, and the imbalance continues to increase. At present, 55 out of 63 provinces and cities across the country have a sex ratio at birth of 108 boys /100 girls, according to the GOPFP.

"The heart of the sex ratio at birth imbalance issue is inequality between men and women. Gender-biased sex selection is exacerbated by patriarchal family values, amplified by male-oriented kinship systems, as well as the lack of social and economic autonomy of women," said Tuan.

Ritsu Nacken, UNFPA Acting Representative in Viet Nam, said the country needs to look at the broader socio-economic context where the value of sons is considered higher than that of daughters.

"How can we change this social norm and create a society where every girl and every woman can enjoy equal rights and opportunities? Clearly, we need concerted efforts from all segments of society to address this question, including families, schools and communities," she said.

In addition, it is crucial to improve the current legal framework related to gender equality, as the laws and policies also impact people's behavior, she said.

"I would like to call for joint efforts to work towards a modern Viet Nam where women and girls have equal opportunities to succeed in society, as men and boys do; where we value our girls as much as we value our boys; and where son-preference is a thing of the past. In particular, we need men and boys to support this effort," she said. — VNS

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