Gender imbalance at birth is posing a huge challenge to the population and family planning work as well as the health sector, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien has said.

At an artistic exchange programme in response to the National Action Month on Population on December 13, the Deputy PM said to curb the imbalance growth rate and bring it back to the normal level, the key measure is to educate people to change their behaviour related to gender selection.

The event saw the attendance of Chief Representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Vietnam Arthur Erken, former Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Foreign Affairs Ton Nu Thi Ninh, and poet Tran Dang Khoa, who shared their view on the issue with the audiences.

Currently, there is a shortage of 117 million women in the world due to gender imbalance at birth. In many Asian countries, deep-rooted preferential for sons has led to the abortion of female embryos and the use of modern technology to have sons, they said.

Results of a census announced on April last year show that Vietnam’s gender ratio at birth is at an alarming rate, 112.3 boys per 100 girls. If the situation is not improved, between 2.3 to 4.3 million Vietnamese men would be unable to find a partner in 2050.

Participants at the event called for more educational campaigns to raise the community’s awareness about girls’ rights, the responsibility of parents, families and the whole society for regaining newborn gender balance, for the future of their own children and the nation.-VNA