Economic incentives not enough for early marriage

When pop star Bich Phuong released her 2017 hit Bao Giờ Lấy Chồng?, or 'When Will You Get Married?', she sang for millions of single Vietnamese women in their 20s and 30s, parodying relatives' intrusive questions during Lunar New Year. 

“Please don’t ask me whether I will get married. It hasn’t crossed my mind.” As Phuong intoned, single Vietnamese sisters nodded in approval.

Asking youngsters, especially women, about their relationship and matrimonial plans has long been considered an act of intimacy by many Vietnamese people, one that allows them to proclaim just how normal or abnormal you are for your age. 

The nosiness has been justified by a Government decision announced last week that advises Vietnamese nationals to marry before 30 and bear a second child before 35. 

The policy aims to maintain a replacement total fertility rate of 2 to 2.2 children for each woman in her reproductive life. Couples who have two children will be prioritised in admissions to public schools as well as with access to public housing projects. The Government also said it would pilot measures to increase the social responsibility of those who do not want to get married or get married late.  

Vietnam is one of the fastest ageing countries in Asia with the transition from the population ageing period to the aged population taking only 17 to 20 years, far shorter than other developed countries such as France (115 years) or Switzerland (85 years). 

Data from the General Statistics Office shows Vietnam will have 21 million people over 60 years old by 2038, accounting for 20 per cent of the total population. The number is expected to reach 27 million by the end of 2050.  

“I applaud this policy as it shows the Government has recognised Vietnam’s risk of labour shortage in the future and tried to offer a solution,” said 29-year-old Chi Lan in HCM City, mother of a one-year-old boy, adding, “the solution is reasonable as it uses economic incentives to encourage citizens to bear children."

Agreeing, 25-year-old Pham Huyen, a master student of adult education in Malta, said many studies had proven the best age for pregnancy was between 20 and 30. 

“For young couples who are mentally prepared and financially stable, it is healthy for the women to give birth earlier in life and help to prolong the country’s golden population era,” she said. 

However, not every youngster can afford marriage.

“It takes a couple a year to save up about VND100 million (US$4,300) for a normal wedding,” said 25-year-old Khanh Huyen, a social worker in Hanoi. 

“Moreover, marriage is also about fate. Vietnamese women are gaining autonomy in deciding their marital status. Many of them have not been hustled by the social norm saying 30 is old and it’s better to grab a random man to be your husband rather than stay single for the rest of your life,” she added. 

Khanh Huyen said the policy would increase social stigma over people labelled as FA (forever alone) or late married.

 

Meanwhile, the incentives are unrealistic to many. 

“Couples in HCM City – a locality with a low fertility rate – will be the major beneficiaries. In reality, myriad public housing projects have been suspended. As demand outweighs supply, the prices hike. Many couples with two children may not be able to buy apartments even with subsidies,” said Chi Lan, adding slots at public schools in the city are also limited. 

Khanh Huyen questioned the Government’s plan to increase the social responsibility of singles, asking for careful consideration of each choice’s carbon footprints. 

“Human population growth causes environmental damage. Therefore, asking for more contributions from people who give up on childbearing or marrying cannot address any problem,” she said. 

Economic incentives not enough for early marriage
At the workshop on prevention and combating child abuse and domestic violence held in Hanoi. (Illustrative image. – Photo daibieunhandan.vn)

A survey released by the National Assembly in April revealed that 9.8 per cent of adults had no idea of the existence of the Law on Children. Meanwhile, up to 47 per cent of children do not know they are protected by law. From 2015 to 2019, there were 337 children killed, 418 fell pregnant and 198 suffered mental disorders as a consequence of child abuse. This data, however, is just the tip of the iceberg, according to the NA Standing Committee. 

“Vietnamese people, including me, think that it is our responsibility to educate and protect our children and expect the same thing from other parents,” said Tra My, a bride-to-be in Quang Tri Province. 

“Therefore, in case of child abuse, I think it is due to living circumstances or parents’ failure to keep eyes on their children,” added her fiance Phuoc Hanh. 

Pham Huyen argued the opinion, saying Vietnamese children are exposed to many risks including pollution, school violence or sexual abuse which make well-informed people think twice before deciding to bear a child.

“Only by solving these issues can the Government persuade citizens to marry and have children,” she said.  VNS 

Khoa Thu 

Government programme encourages marriage before the age of 30

Government programme encourages marriage before the age of 30

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a birth rate adjustment programme towards 2030 which encourages people to get married before the age of 30 and women to give birth to the second child before they get 35 years old.

Children should be protected from violence and sexual abuse

Children should be protected from violence and sexual abuse

While efforts are being made to prevent violence against children, much more work still needs to be done.

 
 

Other News

.
Woman sacked after calling police on black man
Woman sacked after calling police on black man
SOCIETYicon  27/05/2020 

The woman, identified as Amy Cooper, called police saying an African-American man was threatening her life.

Four Minnesota cops fired after death of unarmed black man
Four Minnesota cops fired after death of unarmed black man
SOCIETYicon  27/05/2020 

The FBI investigates Minneapolis police after video shows man being arrested saying "I can't breathe".

Vietnam airports required to tighten Covid-19 prevention measures
Vietnam airports required to tighten Covid-19 prevention measures
SOCIETYicon  27/05/2020 

Local airports are required to keep applying safety protocol against Covid-19 as the pandemic has not been radically wiped out.

Self autonomy a trend for Vietnamese universities
Self autonomy a trend for Vietnamese universities
SOCIETYicon  27/05/2020 

Nguyen Thu Thuy, Acting Director of the Higher Education Department under the Ministry of Education and Training, talks on what universities should do to be considered self-autonomy accredited.

An Giang wants to regulate water flow to avoid landslides
An Giang wants to regulate water flow to avoid landslides
SOCIETYicon  27/05/2020 

The Mekong Delta province of An Giang has petitioned the Government for permission to regulate the flow of the Hau River as the potential risk of serious landslide could occur on National Highway 91.

Sugarcane farmers in Soc Trang Province unable to sell crop
Sugarcane farmers in Soc Trang Province unable to sell crop
SOCIETYicon  27/05/2020 

Sugarcane farmers in Cu Lao Dung District, the largest sugarcane producer in Soc Trang Province, are likely to lose 150ha of sugarcane since they cannot find buyers for their crop, which is ready for harvest.

Ho Chi Minh City trains teachers who going to teach new textbooks
Ho Chi Minh City trains teachers who going to teach new textbooks
SOCIETYicon  27/05/2020 

In its report to the municipal People’s Committee, the Department of Education and Training said that it is going to train primary teachers who are going to teach new textbooks.

Barbershops in pickup trucks give free haircuts to poor residents in HCMC
Barbershops in pickup trucks give free haircuts to poor residents in HCMC
SOCIETYicon  27/05/2020 

Lately, barbershops in pickup trucks have traveled in roads in Ho Chi Minh City to offer free haircuts to poor residents.

Sedge harvesting in Phu Yen
Sedge harvesting in Phu Yen
PHOTOSicon  26/05/2020 

Sedge is a grass-like plant growing near water. They are easily found in the area of O Loan Lagoon in Phu Yen’s Tuy An District. 

Dong Nai prosecutes director associated with fatal wall collapse
Dong Nai prosecutes director associated with fatal wall collapse
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

The Dong Nai investigative police agency has decided to prosecute and temporarily detain Ha Duy Hai, director of Ha Hai Nga construction firm, for his alleged responsibility in a wall collapse that killed 10 people and injured 14 others 11 days ago.

HCM City unveils plans to restructure media
HCM City unveils plans to restructure media
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

HCM City plans to restructure its media industry and post-revamp will have a total of 19 outlets comprising seven newspapers, one radio and television station each and 10 magazines.

$43.47-million Hanoi 600 bus stop shelter project proposed
$43.47-million Hanoi 600 bus stop shelter project proposed
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

Up to 600 bus stop shelters are expected to be built in Hanoi with a total investment capital of VND1 trillion (USD43.47 million).

HCM City to assess pre-feasibility report for Metro Line No 5
HCM City to assess pre-feasibility report for Metro Line No 5
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

HCM City People’s Committee has instructed departments to assess a pre-feasibility study report for the first phase of the Metro Line No 5 project.

Prison terms proposed for people involved in exam scandal
Prison terms proposed for people involved in exam scandal
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

The People’s Procuracy in the northern province of Son La on Sunday proposed prison terms from two to 25 years for 12 defendants involved in test score manipulation in the 2018 national high school examinations.

Three died as scaffolding cable snaps in Kon Tum
Three died as scaffolding cable snaps in Kon Tum
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

Three workers died and many others were injured after a scaffolding cable snapped at a hydro-power plant project in Kon Tom Province on May 25.

First Zika virus infection detected this year in Vietnam
First Zika virus infection detected this year in Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

The Ministry of Health on May 25 confirmed that a 25-year-old man in Da Nang city has been infected with Zika virus, becoming the first case of this infection in Vietnam this year.

One student killed, 12 injured as tree falls at school
One student killed, 12 injured as tree falls at school
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

A student has been killed and 12 others were injured after a large tree fell on them at a secondary school in HCM City’s District 3 on Tuesday morning.

Coronavirus: Sleepless nights for doctors in a war zone
Coronavirus: Sleepless nights for doctors in a war zone
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

People in Afghanistan dared to hope for peace, but they are now fighting both violence and the virus.

No Smoking Challenge 2020 online contest launched
No Smoking Challenge 2020 online contest launched
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

An online contest on tobacco harm prevention was launched across Việt Nam from now till May 31 to celebrate the World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and the National No Tobacco Week 2020 (May 25-31).

Campaign on dangers of smoking carried out at bus stations
Campaign on dangers of smoking carried out at bus stations
SOCIETYicon  26/05/2020 

An information campaign on the dangers of smoking and smoking in public is being carried out at eight bus and ferry stations in HCM City from May 2020 to June 2021 on the occasion of the World Smoke-Free Day on May 31.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN