Seminar raises alarm on gender disproportion in Vietnam

A trend in gender imbalance among newborns has risen in many Asian countries, including Vietnam, said Ian Howie, representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam, at a seminar in Hanoi on December 20.

Ian Howie cited the proportion of girls to boys in newborns was 100 to 120 in China and India, and 100 to 110 in Vietnam.

Dr Khuat Thu Hong from the Social Development Research Institute warned that in northeastern, northwestern and coastal provinces, the gender imbalance in newborns was much higher than usual.

She said 16 out of these provinces saw the proportion of between 115-128 boys to 100 girls, and 20 provinces, between 111-120 boys to 100 girls.

According to a survey in July 2007 the gender imbalance in newborns in Bac Ninh and Ha Tay rose to an alarming level with 123 and 120 boys to 100 girls, respectively.