Vietnam’s gender disparity is at alarming level with the ratio of 112 boys at birth to every 100 girls in 2012.

The figure was brought out at a seminar on dealing with gender inequality at birth, promoting the role of the elderly and preventing family violence, which was held in Da Nang city on December 3 by the Vietnam Farmers’ Association, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Vietnam Women’s Union .

The disparity in Vietnam’s gender ratio at birth has increased strongly since 2009 at both rural and urban areas.

The General Department of Population and Family Planning envisions three scenarios, the best of which is the gender gap at birth will increase to 115/100 by 2020 and drop back to the normal ratio of 105/100 by 2030. In the second scenario, the figure may increase to 120/100 by 2020 and return to normal by 2030. The worst possibility is that the ratio will reach as high as 125/100 by 2020 and remain at this level until 2050 if no effective measures are taken.

The increasing disparity means from 2.3 to 4.3 million Vietnamese men could be left unmarried by 2050 as the result of sex discrimination at birth.

Participants also said that Vietnam is approaching the demographic patterns of an aging population. The average life expectancy has improved remarkably, hitting 73 in 2011. More than 70 percent of the elderly are still working to support themselves besides the support of their children.-VNA