Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gender Imbalance in China

From China Daily, a look at improving ratios that are still terribly unbalanced, with not a single mention of the role of the one child policy in that imbalance:
The notoriously problematic gap between the number of boys and girls born in China has reduced for three consecutive years, the first sustained alleviation in the gender ratio in 30 years, said a report in Thursday's People's Daily newspaper.
But the figure is still higher than a warning limit and the country faces an arduous task to redress its gender imbalance, according to the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

Census data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that in 2011, China's gender ratio stood at 117.78 newborn boys for every 100 baby girls, a continuous decline from 119.45 in 2009 and 117.94 in 2010.

This result indicates that government measures, including crackdowns on illegal prenatal gender tests and selective abortions, are proving effective, Zhang Jian, a public communication official of the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), told the newspaper.

A natural gender ratio at birth should be somewhere between 103 and 107 boys to every 100 girls. Due to the higher mortality rate of boys, the ratio will balance off by the time each generation reaches an age to have their own children.

However, since ultrasound inspections have enabled fetal gender testing in China in the 1980s, the country's gender ratio for newborn babies has hovered at a high level, and reached 120.56 in 2008.

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And the serious gender imbalance is not only a population problem, but also a grave social problem, Zhang noted.

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Experts have also proposed enhanced efforts to promote equal opportunities and the social status of females as a fundamental solution to the problem.

The preference for boys in Chinese society became conventional in China's era of under-development, when boys were favored as stronger laborers.

The problem lingers in modern China, though. Even in some of the country's affluent coastal areas, gender ratio figures are climbing, the article noted.

Excepting improvement in education levels of girls and women, females are still left behind their male counterparts in job opportunities, career positions and salary, said Yang Juhua, a demographic professor with Renmin University of China.

1 comment:

Pat Verducci said...

Hi Malinda--

I'm so sorry I had to post this as a comment, but could not find your email on the site.

My name is Pat Verducci and I'm the Co-Producer of the feature documentary film SOMEWHERE BETWEEN. I wondered if you might be interested in blogging about our film. The movie is about four teenaged girls adopted from China and living in the U.S. For three years we followed the girls on their quest to better understand their identity. The film has won many awards, including the Audience Award at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, and most recently, was selected for Sundance's Film Forward Program. For that, the director, Linda Goldstein Knowlton, just traveled to India with Sundance and showed the film to enthusiastic audiences.

We are in the last stages of raising money to release the movie theatrically in the U.S. and hoped you would check out our Kickstarter page. You can watch Linda talk about the film, see our trailer and find out more about our domestic release campaign here:

Linda is herself the mother of a girl adopted from China (Ruby!) and we've had many adoptive parents at film festivals tell us that SOMEWHERE BETWEEN has changed their understanding of the issues their children will face (especially as teenagers.) We've also had many people who are adopted endorse the film. Here's a note from one of them...

Hi there.

I imagine you receive many messages so I hope that this one reaches you! I saw your amazing film when it was in the Milwaukee, WI film festival last fall. As an adult transracial adoptee and adoption professional, it blew my mind. I commented under your review section that it was the most comprehensive and well-built documentary representing the adoptee perspective. The beauty of this project is that it can be applied to many different ethnic/racial adoptees. KUDOS!

Again, here's a cut and paste link to our Kickstarter page, where people can pledge to help us distribute the movie.

Please check it out, and PLEASE, spread the info to your networks! We need your help to get this film to more adoptive parents and children in the U.S.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Thanks so much!

Pat Verducci
Co Producer