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Province builds on successes in family planning

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

Province builds on successes in family planning

QĐND – Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

Nguyen Manh Thao of the northern province of Hoa Binh is happy that he has two daughters.

This is somewhat surprising in Vietnam with its strong patriarchal and Confucianist traditions where families desire to have a son to tend to the family altar, to continue the family lineage and so on.

It is not important whether it is a daughter or a son, Thao said, adding that to have the right conditions to raise them comfortably and ensure a happy life for them is far more important.

Thao, therefore, did not pressurise his wife to give him a son and a third child for the family, another not-too-uncommon practice in the country when the first two children are daughters.

Like his elder brother, Nguyen Manh Hung has no particular preference, and does not say anything to his wife about needing a son. The couple did not adopt any method or measure, western or traditional, to try and influence the baby’s gender, another frequently chosen option by many others.

His first child is a girl and the second, a boy. After giving birth to the second child, his wife chose to use the IUD (intrauterine device) sterilisation method, Hung said.

“Two children are enough and I can afford to secure their future based on my financial situation,” he added.

Thao and Hung’s parents worked very hard to raise their five children, and they often advised their offspring to have only one or two children in order to raise them well.

Nguyen Thi Nga, a family planning worker at Cham Mat Ward in Hoa Binh City , said the number of families having three children in the ward has reduced in recent years.

“The awareness of residents about the advantages of having a smaller family has improved,” Nga added.

Unlike earlier, when many families did not want to meet and listen to her about sterilisation, a large number of women are now voluntarily asking for advice on sterilisation methods, she said.

Only 10 of 1,750 households in the ward have a third child.

Nguyen Huy Lam, head of the city’s Centre for Population and Family Planning, said in 2008, the third child accounted for nearly three in every 100 births. This dropped to two in 2009 and is expected to remain the same this year, he said.

This is the result of awareness campaigns as well as the implementation of many activities like the establishment of a club for families without the third child in Cham Mat ward, he added.

However, Lam said he is concerned that in Hoa Binh City , more than 50 percent of the third-born children were from well-off families.

Nguyen Thi Nguyet of Cham Mat ward has a son and a daughter, but wants another one despite the advice of family planning workers.

Her family is doing well, so raising one more child is not difficult, she said.

Tran Phuong Hoa, Cham Mat ward’s family planning co-ordinator, said some families want to have many children because they thought it will make them happier and will have more people to take care of them when they are old.

In Vietnam , especially in rural and mountainous areas, there are no homes for senior people, and many people are afraid that there will be nobody to take care of them if they have only one or two children.

In particular, some families think that daughters cannot take care of them when they are old because daughters usually live at their husband’s house and take care of his parents.

So families with two daughters often want to have one son, Hoa said.

Cao Phong district in the province has many well-off families with more than two children and is among districts with the highest gender imbalance.

The province has a third child rate of 7.7 per cent, according to Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong, deputy head of the provincial Statistic Department, with most of them being boys.

The use of methods to choose a baby’s gender before conceiving is popular among the provincial population.

It has contributed to the gender imbalance in Hoa Binh province, which ranks among the top ten provinces in the country in this regard, according to the provincial Statistics Department.

The province will change the content and objectives of its awareness campaigns and also introduce stricter punitive measures as it strives to reduce its gender imbalance and contribute to stable development of the nation’s population, Lam said.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

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