Hanoi records rising gender imbalance as parents opt for boys

By Bui Hong Nhung   June 22, 2016 | 04:09 pm GMT+7

Hanoi saw the rate of gender imbalance soar to 114.4 boys per 100 girls in the first five months of 2016, according to a post on the city's government news portal on June 22.

Nguyen Dinh Lan, deputy director of the Hanoi Population and Family Planning Branch, said that the city’s gender imbalance rate is always higher than the national average.

In 2015, Hanoi hit a 10-year low when the rate reached 114/110, but that still surpassed the national average of 112.7/100. More seriously, the figures bounced back to 114.4/100 in the first five months of this year.

The deputy director added that the gender imbalance rate has risen while the number of new babies appears to have fallen. Data from the branch showed there were more than 37,000 babies born in Hanoi in the first five months, down nearly four percent on-year. In addition, 7.53 percent of families had a third child.

“Many families want to have a boy so they decide to have a third child. This will push up Hanoi’s gender imbalance rate for the rest of this year,” said Lan.

To solve the problem, Ta Quang Huy, director of the Hanoi Population and Family Planning Branch, said that the city will conduct spot inspections of hospitals and clinics that provide gender tests for pregnant women. 

Huy said that last year, the city handled two cases related to fetal gender testing, one of which was penalized VND40 million ($1,800) and suspended.

Recently, Hanoi also fined Hong Ngoc Private Hospital VND3 million ($135) for advertising gender selection services on its website.