International Day of the Girl Child observed in Vietnam

Tuesday, 2018-10-09 15:42:37
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Representatives from medical establishments sign commitments to jointly dealing with the issue of the imbalanced SRB issue. (Photo: giadinh.net.vn)
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NDO – The Vietnamese Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund in Vietnam held a ceremony in the central province of Thanh Hoa on October 9, to mark the International Day of the Gird Child (October 11), under the theme of “No sexism, no sex selection at birth”.

An imbalanced sex ratio at birth (SRB) is currently one of the big challenges to population work in a number of Asian countries. In Vietnam, the SRB increased from 107 boys per 100 girls in 1999 to 110.5 boys in 2009, 113.8 boys four years later, and near 112.2 boys per 100 girls at present.

The imbalanced SRB is continuing to grow and is spreading across all regions, with 55 out of the 63 cities and provinces nationwide reporting a SRB higher than 108 boys per 100 girls.

The SRB imbalance will negatively affect Vietnam’s future population structure, leading to an excess of males in society. Without timely intervention, it is predicted that by 2050, Vietnam will suffer a lack of between 2.3 to 4.3 million women. The SRB imbalance threatens to cause serious consequences for the country’s socio-economic development and long-term social and demographic consequences, such as an increased pressure on girls to get married early, increased prostitution and HIV/AIDS, increased trafficking in women and girls, and increased gender inequality.

Vo Thanh Dong, deputy director of the General Office for Population and Family Planning, speaks at the ceremony. (Photo: giadinh.net.vn)

Addressing the event, Vo Thanh Dong, deputy director of the General Office for Population and Family Planning, affirmed that the Health Ministry calls for the involvement and support from all levels, sectors and people from all strata of society aiming to accelerate communication, education, awareness-raising and behaviour changing activities in implementing the resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee on population work in the new situation, in order to make effective intervention and contribute to reducing the SRB imbalance in the future.

He also stressed the need to strongly step up the serious enforcement of laws on dealing with the imbalanced SRB, while prohibiting acts of providing advice and sex selection services in medical establishments and in the whole of society.

The propaganda parade attracts a large crowd of health workers and local people. (Photo: giadinh.net.vn)

After the celebration ceremony, delegates, invitees and hundreds of students and young people in marriage age across the province participated in a propaganda parade in response to the International Day of the Girl Child.

Since 2012, October 11 has been marked as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges that girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

Under the 2018 theme, “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce”, the International Day of the Girl Child will mark the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.