Feb 2, 2013

Vietnam - Skepticism on "bonus for families with two girls" policy

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VietNamNet Bridge - Talking with the correspondents on the sidelines of a meeting of the National Assembly’s Committee on Social Affairs on January 29, many experts were shocked with the plan on rewarding the families with two daughters of the General Department of Population.

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Dinh Cu, former Director of the Institute of Population and Social Issues, said that he was "a little shocked" to hear of this draft. If it is approved, it will cause inequality because only girls are financially supported. However, as the gender imbalance is increasing, breakthrough solutions like this one are necessary.

"But this is just a temporary solution," he kept saying. "In economic aspect, I do not know specifically about the support and for how long. If the support is small and short, it will make effect but the effect will be insignificant. If the support is high, the economy cannot afford it," he added.

He also said that at present, those who have the third child are usually well-off so this policy may not have influence on the major subject. Therefore, the efficiency needs to be considered basically.

Mr. Hoa Huu Van, Deputy Director of the Department of Family, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that first of all, this is an initiative on population and family. The policies and legal documents on gender equality need to be specific like this.

Gender imbalance in Vietnam is very worrying, with an average rate of 112.6 boys per 100 girls. Therefore, this policy will solve part of that imbalance state.

“Under state management perspective, I back this policy. If it is issued and executed, it will affect a majority of families that have two daughters, or young families,” Van said.

Ms. Nguyen Van Anh, director of the Center for Research and Applied Sciences in Gender - Family - Women and Adolescent (CSAGA) in Hanoi, said: “I do not believe that giving financial support to the families having only baby girls can help resume gender balance. On the other hand, it will cause other imbalance and unfairness.”

“I think we need to avoid the creation of projects that have no actual effect. The money used for this project will come from the state budget, i.e. people's money. If it is not managed and used effectively, it will fall into the sea,” she added.

On January 25, at a conference of the population sector, Dr. Duong Quoc Trong, Director of the General Department of Population and Family Planning said the department had proposed the Government to make interventions to reduce the sex ratio imbalance at birth.

Accordingly, the families that have only two baby girls will be supported with cash. The second baby girl will enjoy health insurance and tuition preferences.

Translated by P. Lan
from Tien Phong

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