Vietnam struggles to bring sex-selective abortion under control

At a press briefing yesterday, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health expressed concern over the country’s sex ratio at birth, which favours boys to girls. Though the national number sits around 114 male births to 100 females, in some sections of the Red River Delta numbers run as high as 150 males to 100 females, causing public health officials concern, as projections estimate that up to 4.3 million Vietnamese men will not be able to find wives in 2050. While the Ministry of Health has imposed a ban on sex-selective abortions, experts point out that a shift in cultural attitudes is necessary to make genuine progress. “We need more efforts to strengthen comprehensive communication activities on the important roles of women and girls in the society,” said Nguyen Van Tan, director of the General Office for Population and Family Planning.