Vietnam in the face of growing gender imbalance

(VOV) -The spectre of a huge imbalance in the numbers of Vietnamese women and men is a real threat to the country’s future socioeconomic development and social welfare.

This concern was raised by Dr. Duong Quoc Trong, head of the General Department for Population and Family Planning in a recent interview to VOV.

Trong said Vietnam successfully reduced its birth rate, from 6.4 percent in 1960 to 2 percent in 2010. As many as 18 million children would have been added to its population if there had been no family planning over the past two decades. And this population boom might have hindered improvements in general living standards.

vietnam in the face of growing gender imbalance hinh 0

He noted that Vietnam is entering a golden age with people enjoying a higher life expectancy.

Trong, however, is concerned about the imbalance between newly-born males and females. Vietnam’s yearly sex ratio at birth (SRB) hit 1.15 in the 2006–2009 period, 0.4 percent higher than in recent years.

Against this backdrop, Vietnam may lack as many as 2.3–4.3 million brides in the near future, he said.

So, there must be appropriate measures to address the three main reasons behind the gender imbalance, Trong insisted.

vietnam in the face of growing gender imbalance hinh 1

First, information campaigns need to focus on changing old attitudes in order to promote female births and discourage the birth of third child in family.

Second, laws forbidding pre-natal sex selection need to be enforced more effectively.

Third, there are incentive policies for women, including the law on gender equality, the national action programme on gender equality, and agencies in charge of women protection and advancement. Those who only have two daughters also enjoy these policies.

It requires about VND3,000 billion in funding to carry out the plan for protection of gender balance in the coming period (2013–2020).

He cited some models being applied in Thailand and the Republic of Korea which have successfully provided financial support for population programs.

Aid which is temporary but positive in the short term should be provided until the gender rate is rebalanced, he said.