UN official calls for end to preference for sons in Vietnam hinh anh 1At the launching ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Naomi Kitahara, chief representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam, has called for an end to the preference for boys over girls in the country, to promote gender equality. 

She made the appeal at the launch ceremony for the State of the World Population Fund Report 2020 in Hanoi on July 17. 

Titled “Against my will, defying the practices that harm women and girls and undermine equality”, the report was released worldwide on June 30 and highlights at least 19 rites - ranging from breast ironing to virginity testing - that are considered human rights violations.

The report published in Vietnam focuses on gender selection on the basis of gender bias, which has existed for decades with a preference for boys over girls, according to the UN official.

She pointed to social problems resulting from a gender imbalance, such as rape, forced sex, sexual abuse, human trafficking, and early marriage. 

She also cited figures of the national population and housing census in 2009, which found that the sex ratio at birth in Vietnam remains high, with 111.5 boys per 100 girls, as compared with the natural or normal rate of 105-106 boys per 100 girls. 

The State of the World Population Report estimates that every year, 40,800 female births are missing in Vietnam. It means that 40,800 girls are not born every year in Vietnam because they were found to be a girl. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Pham Ngoc Tien, head of the Department of Gender Equality at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the Vietnamese Government considers gender equality a goal and a driver of sustainable development, adding that it is completing a legal framework to better the work./.