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Meeting and March "Join hands to address the Sex Ratio at Birth Imbalance"

28 September 2014
Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien (left), UNFPA Representative Arthur Erken (middle), Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (right) Participating in the event were leaders of the Viet Nam Farmers' Union, Viet Nam Women's Union, Ministry of Health, UN agencies, International development community, and hundreds of women, men, girls and boys in Ha Noi.
HA NOI, 28 September 2014 - Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam attended the meeting and march "Join hand to address sex ratio at birth imbalance" co-organized this morning by the UNFPA and the Viet Nam Farmers' Union (VFU) in Ha Noi.
 
Participating in the event were leaders of the Viet Nam Farmers' Union, Viet Nam Women's Union, Ministry of Health, UN agencies, International development community, and hundreds of women, men, girls and boys in Ha Noi.

Today, 117 million women across Asia are "missing" largely due to the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) imbalance, which is a direct manifestation of gender discrimination. Viet Nam is not the first country to face an imbalance in the sex ratio at birth, but the reality is that the challenge is significant and is increasing.

The SRB rose from 106.2 boys per 100 girls in 2000 to 113.8 boys per 100 girls in 2013 and this sharp trend seems to have continued. If no interventions are undertaken, it is estimated that by 2050, Viet Nam will be confronted with a scenario of a surplus of around 2.3 to 4.3 million men, who will not be able to find a wife.

The heart of the SRB imbalance issue is not sex selection, but inequality and different gender values. Gender-biased sex selection is exacerbated by patriarchal family values, amplified in particular by male-oriented kinship systems, as well as lack of social and economic autonomy of women. Therefore, the solution is not to focus on the phenomena, but to address the broader context of socio-economic development and the promotion and protection of human rights to dismantle gender inequality so that the dignity and human rights of every woman, every young person and every individual are achieved. Girls, like boys, deserve equal love, equal opportunity and equal rights thorough their lives.

When women and girls have equal access to health care, education, and job o pportunities as men and boys do, then women and girls will be able to do what men and boys are expected to do. Yet, women alone cannot address the issue; it must be done in partnership. Young men and boys must be encouraged to step forward as agents of necessary social and cultural change," said Mr. Arthur Erken, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam Farmers' Union is responsible for educating and promoting farmers to effectively follow the existing Party and Government policies, laws and regulations associated with farmers and rural issues, including policies on population. Therefore, the social organizations including Viet Nam Farmers' Union, Viet Nam Women's Union will continue to be effective actors in reaching out to and working with women and men, girls and boys in the community to raise awareness of the SRB imbalance, improve women and girls' status and ensure their rights, towards a society of equality, respect and love.

This meeting was one of the activities organised towards the national advocacy campaign "Join hands to address sex ratio at birth imbalance" on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child.