At the ceremony (Photo: giadinh.net.vn)

Thanh Hoa (VNA) -  A ceremony was held in the north central province of Thanh Hoa on October 9 in response to International Day of the Girl Child (October 11), focusing on the theme of no sex discrimination and no selection of unborn babies. 

The event was co-organised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Vietnam and the People’s Committee of Thanh Hoa province.

Addressing the event, Vo Thanh Dong, Deputy General Director of the Health Ministry’s General Office for Population and Family Planning, called on ministries, agencies and people from all walks of life to join efforts in controlling and reducing gender imbalances at birth in Vietnam.

Actions that guide the sex determination and selection must be banned at medical centres and in society, he said.

Statistics show that sex imbalances at birth in Vietnam increased from 107 boys per 100 girls in 1999 to 110.5 in 2009, 113.8 in 2013 and 112.2 at present. The imbalances are increasing and spreading in all areas and regions  nationwide.

Up to 55 out of 63 cities and provinces have sex ratio at birth exceeding 108 boys per 100 girls. In Thanh Hoa province, the ratio was 111 in 2009 and 114 in 2017, higher than the country’s average.

Sex imbalances at birth in Vietnam are mainly caused by the longstanding habit of preferring males to females. Besides, people have easier access to affordable sex determination and sex selection technology, which allow couples to pursue their desire for sons.

Vietnam is expected to lack from 2.3-4.3 million women by 2050 if no prompt interventions are taken.

International Day of the Girl Child aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

Under the theme, With Her: A Skilled Girl Force, this year’s International Day of the Girl Child will mark the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.-VNA