Gender imbalance at alarming stage

Sociologists have rung the alarm bell at the current significantly higher rate of male newborns over female newborns in Vietnam

A recent Institute for Social Development Research survey conducted in the northern and coastal regions showed that up to 20 provinces and cities recorded a ratio of 111 boys to 100 girls. In another 16 provinces and cities, the ratio reached as high as 128 to 100.

The traditional preference for boys that continues to prevail in society is blamed for the situation.

Population boom is cited as another problem. The survey showed that the birth rate increased 7.2 percent year o­n year in the first quarter of 2008 with over 18,000 newborns delivered.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City were among the 39 provinces and cities nationwide criticized for the highest birth rates. The capital city posted a newborn growth of 27.6 percent while the rate in the nation’s southern hub reached 30.2 percent.

In an effort to solve the problems, a master-plan o­n population quality improvement is being developed with a focus o­n raising public awareness of family planning and the consequences of intentional gender selection.