Integrated measures, especially communication campaigns, are needed to change public awareness of the role and position of women and girl children and address gender imbalance in a long run.

The opinion was voiced at a workshop to seek measures to solve gender imbalance in Vietnam. The workshop was jointly held in Hanoi on June 12 by the Ministry of Labours, War Invalids and Social Affairs and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Gender imbalance at birth is increasingly concerned Vietnam and some other Asian countries.

In Vietnam, the gender ratio at birth increased from 106.2 boys/100 girls in 2000 to 112.3 boys/100 girls in 2012, and this disparity trend seemingly continues.

Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thanh Hoa described the persistent male chauvinism as the underlying cause of the situation.

Experts indicated that gender imbalance at birth could result in a marriage crisis and lead to more victims of trafficking and prostitution and a higher number of overseas bribes.

Tran Thi Van, who is in charge of the UNFPA Office in Vietnam, suggested the country focus on promoting the role of women and girl children in society and improving public awareness of their status and rights.

Male youths and boys should be encouraged to take part in making behaviour-changing process culturally and socially. Officials and Party members themselves should set good examples in promoting gender equality, Van added.

At the event, experts urged Vietnam to strengthen the inter-sector coordination and social organisations’ participation particularly in abolishing the old-fashioned sexual discrimination against women and girls.

The outcomes of this workshop will help stakeholders of the National Strategy on Gender Equality and the 2011-2020 Strategy on Population and Reproductive Health translate words in these strategies into practical deeds to ensure a fair society for all.-VNA