Wednesday, March 31, 2010

China as Champion of Gender Equality?

That's the premise of an article in the Asian Journal of Comparative Law, Changing Mindsets: How China's Abnormal Sex Ratio Is Turning Its Government into a Champion of Gender Equality. Here's the abstract:

A combination of factors has led to an increasing imbalance in the sex ratio of China's population. China's sex ratio at birth is 119 boys per 100 girls, far above the global norm of 106. This paper will focus on the abnormal sex ratio as a consequence of traditional Chinese gender attitudes holding women inferior and subordinate to men, which have been brought to the fore by a combination of fertility decline and technological advancement. Accordingly, any solution to the demographic problem must address these prevalent, entrenched mind-sets. The government appears to realise that existing laws prohibiting sex-selective abortion and infanticide will fail to correct the sex ratio. This paper examines the trend in government responses towards efforts to address traditional gender attitudes and argues that the demographic crisis may have turned the Chinese government into an unlikely champion of gender equality.


Von said...

Sorry? I was obviously under the mistaken impression that infanticide and the mass exportation of female babies had something to do with gender imbalance.

Wendy said...

Very interesting abstract. I can see where they are going and am looking forward to the read--forcing gender equality via law. Unfortunately the law is not something everyone will follow and/or will be able to.

malinda said...

Well, they do mention infanticide, but what I found strange was the abstract didn't mention the one child policy. Certainly the one child policy is less rigid now, but it obviously plays a motivating role in sex-selective abortion and abandonments.

The mass exportation of female babies -- international adoption -- is really a small number in the grand scheme of things in China with its population of 1.3 billion. Assume 500 million are female, the loss of less than 150,000 to international adoption realy can't skew the sex ratios.