Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Lack Of Women Threatens China's Long Term Stability

but can it cook
by Yan Tai
Hong Kong (UPI) Mar 09, 2004
A serious shortage of women is looming in China, threatening family and social stability in the world's most populous country. Official statistics show that in 2002, for every 100 newborn girls, there were 117 boys born. If this trend continues, China will have up to 40 million more men than women by 2020.

Demographic experts warn that the shortage of women in China will pose serious problems for the country if the trend is not halted. The surplus of men may trigger such sex-related crimes as rape, prostitution, the abduction of women and mercenary marriages. They also point to the harmful physical and emotional consequences on women of the current trend of aborting baby girls.

The statistics came as a shock at a session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) currently underway in Beijing. Li Weixiong, vice chairman of th! E population, resources and environment committee of the CPPCC, released the statistics in his report to the conference. Li said the predictions contained in the report were not exaggerated, but rather a serious problem demanding immediate action before it undermined social stability.

"The disproportionate numbers of males and females have become more and more serious, especially in rural areas," Li said in his keynote speech at the conference. According to census statistics, the predominance of male births is growing worse. In 1982, the proportion of females to males was 100 to 108, close to the worldwide ratio of 100 to 104-107. The 1990 census showed a ratio of 100 to 111.3. In 2002, the ratio of boys to girls was 100 to 116.9.

Li said the availability of modern medical technology had made the situation worse. Since ultrasound screening of embryos was introduced to China about a decade ago, more females have been aborted. This practi! Ce is partly responsible for the growing disparity between boys and girls.

"Many parents just abort their baby once they find out they are expecting a girl," a retired official from a women's organization, who wished to remain anonymous, told United Press International. Chinese family planning laws prohibit doctors from revealing the sonogram results to expectant parents, but Li said this regulation is often ignored. Doctors who use the technology to check the baby's health can often be talked into revealing its sex.

The veteran women's rights official also said that it is still not rare for baby girls to be killed in rural areas. "Rural people still have a strong concept that they need to have a boy, since they can only have one child," she said.

In many cases, if parents are not cruel enough to drown their baby girls, they abandon them. Orphanages in China are overcrowded with girls. The Western world has discover! Ed this fact, and Western parents flock to China to adopt these abandoned children. A well-established system is in place for foreigners to adopt Chinese babies. According to U.S. State Department statistics, American parents alone had adopted 33,637 Chinese baby girls by 2002.

Li said in his public speech that such backward practices remain strong in the countryside and in southern China. In the southern provinces of Hainan and Guangdong, the ratio of female to male births is as high as 100 to 130.

The long Confucian tradition of men's superiority over women is at the heart of the problem, despite decades of communist propaganda aimed at changing this attitude. Many Chinese families believe that only male heirs can carry on the family lineage, and therefore it is essential to have a boy. The enforcement since the late 1970s of the one-child policy meant that families had to ensure that their one child would be a boy.

"The excess of men will also cause problems in terms of family structure and emotional issues," Yuan Shuling, a spokeswoman for the Tianjin Women's Federation, told UPI. "It poses more challenges for a society dealing with women's issues."

Cheng Lanshu, deputy chairwoman of the Tianjin Women's Federation, believes it is essential to weed out the feudalistic concept of male preference. She said the central government is doing the right thing in promoting equality between the sexes as national policy.

In a first step toward tackling the problem, the government has designated 2004 as the year to promote sexual equality. But it is clear that more than a publicity campaign is needed if this social time bomb is to be defused.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2004 by United Press International. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by United Press International. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of by United Press International.

Related Links
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

US Wants Taiwan To Bolster Intelligence Gathering: Jane's
Taipei (AFP) Jan 08, 2004
The United States is pressing Taiwan to procure two intelligence-gathering devices to correct an intelligence "blind spot" over the activities of China's army, the authoritative Jane's Defense Weekly (JDW) says. The facilities include a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite and a signals intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft, it says in an article to be published on January 14. "Taiwan has a major intelligence blind spot regarding what the ground forces of the People's Liberation Army does," a US defense department source told the magazine.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.