Take gender preference out of family planning (China Daily)

Mar. 11, 2004

Gender equality in China continues to be a nagging problem.

The old “We want a boy!” mentality still pervades Chinese thinking when it comes to young couples planning to start a family.

Li Weixiong, vice-chairman of the Population, Resources and Environment sub-committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said some 30-40 million Chinese men of marrying age may be forced to live the “single” life by 2020.

Why? Because, as Li put it to his fellow members of the CPPCC National Committee, the practice of women having CT-gender screenings of their embryos – so couples can select boys in pregnancies rather than girls – is out of control in some areas of China.

How badly has this spiralled out of control? Census statistics reveal the newborn gender ratio in China was 100 girls to 108.5 boys in 1982. In 1990, the ratio was 100 girls to 111.3 boys, and then 100 girls to 116.9 boys in 2000. Alarmingly, it reached as high as 130 boys to 100 girls in Hainan and Guangdong that year.

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