Viet Nam News
VĨNH PHÚC – Several effective measures have been implemented to control the gender imbalance over the years, but in many areas of Việt Nam the ratio of male to females at birth is still skewed.
In Vĩnh Phúc province, for example, 12,665 babies were born in September - 6,752 boys and 5,913 girls, making the sex ratio 114.19 boys per 100 girls, according to data from the provincial Department of Population Family Planning.
This figure is lower than the 2013 ratio but higher than the 2015 one at 111.46 boys per 100 girls.
Many districts in the province have a high sex ratio imbalance, including Tam Đảo Lập Thạch and Yên Lạc.
The direct cause of the imbalance is the abuse of medical technology by families wishing to know the gender of their unborn child and choosing to continue the pregnancy only if they are carrying a child of the gender they want - generally, a boy.
Trần Thị Bình, who has worked closely with the population centre of Vân Trục Commune in Lập Thạch District for nearly 20 years, said public awareness of gender inequality has grown but many people still have skewed perceptions of gender roles and want a son to continue their family name.
This is also the main reason for an increased rate of third-child births, she said.
The imbalanced sex ratio at birth will negatively affect Việt Nam’s population structure in the future, resulting in an excess of men, Bình said.
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, she added.
Nguyễn Thị Hương, an official of the Department of Population Family Planning, said developments in science and technology enabling interference in human fertility have helped parents give birth to healthy children - but also to widen the gender gap.
In addition, the Law on Protection of People’s Health is the legal basis for abortions when couples not only conceive an unwanted child, but also when their fetus is female, said Hương.
This imbalance will make it difficult for a large group of men to find marriage partners, she said.
By 2050, according to various estimates, some 2.3 to 4.3 million men will not be able to find wives.The surplus of males of marriage age may lead to the disintegration of family structures as a significant proportion of men will have to marry late and many will not be able to get married at all.
The province has implemented a mass communication campaign to raise awareness of the problem and change public attitudes, and has also boosted education on gender equality in schools and society, Hương said.
Sex imbalance at birth in Việt Nam increased from 106.2 boys per 100 girls in 2000 to 112.2 boys per 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 to 100 girls, according to a report of the General Department of Population and Family Planning. -VNS