Vietnam is situated on the easternmost side of the Indochina Peninsula in southeast Asia. It is a traditional Vietnamese assumption that motherhood is a woman's sacred right. While this ideal remains, a population control policy, family planning techniques, women's access to higher education and the professions, and population migrations are reshaping postwar motherhood.

The population of reunified Vietnam totaled 53 million by 1978, with 52 percent under 22 years. The postwar agricultural development of the Mekong flood plain, the produce from the established Red River delta in the north, and the marine abundance of the coastal fisheries, combined to provide a surplus domestic food supply. A young population and reliable food source ensured the potential for industrialization, but it also ensured a demographic explosion. In 1987, ...

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