Ministries join hands to control imbalanced sex ratio at birth

A cooperation programme was launched between the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) at an official ceremony in Hanoi on October 9 to promote gender equality and control sex imbalances at birth during the 2014-2020 period.

The programme is part of a campaign to accelerate the implementation of the National Strategy on Gender Equality for 2011-2020 and the Vietnam Population and Reproductive Health Strategy by 2020.

Several Asian countries, including Vietnam, are affected by the negative consequences of an imbalanced sex ratio.

The imbalance between male and female babies born is high in Vietnam, increasing to 113.8 boys per 100 girls in 2013 compared to 106.2 boys per 100 girls in 2000. 

The trend is expected to continue, and if it is not reversed, Vietnam is likely to see 2.3 to 4.3 million men unable to find wives by 2050.

Scientific studies conducted in Asia and Vietnam show that the gender imbalance at birth is attributed to society’s preference for sons over daughters, which has a direct impact on family planning decisions. 

It also will have extremely negative effects on the country’s future demographics. 

Discrimination against women and girls is a violation of human rights. However, they continue to be undervalued, which is at the root of the skewed sex ratio at birth. 

In recent years, MoLISA and MoH have enhanced their communication efforts and implemented relevant policy measures to ease the situation. 

Their cooperation will contribute to efforts to increase awareness of the issue and boost the implementation of policies and legal regulations on gender equality, thus controlling gender imbalance at birth. 

As part of the programme, the two ministries will work together to research, develop and implement measures and policies on gender equality. Communication and education models will also be designed and put in place to raise public awareness of the issue. 

Additionally, pilot models to promote gender equality will be set up in provinces and cities where the sex ratio at birth is the most distorted.