» 03/27/2004, 00.00
Risk of abortion for 40-60 million female children over ten year period
Beijing (AsiaNews/AP) The alarm has been sounded concerning the number of female children in the country. The United Nations has reported that in China there is the risk that 40-60 million female children will be either aborted or killed in China over the next 10 years, if preference for males is not rooted out of traditional culture. Next week, the UN will release a detailed report analyzing the issue.
According to UN's coordinator in Beijing, Khalid Malik, such barbarous practices give rise to social plagues like prostitution and traffic of human beings.
Based on government statistics there are 116 males for every 100 females in China. But other sources have registered a ratio of 122 males to 100 females. Throughout most of the country there is a higher ratio of females to males, based on normal demographic trends and a greater survival rate of females at birth. Yet due to the practices of selective abortion and infanticide China (together with India) now is one of the major contributors to reversing this natural tendency.
The single-child policy set by the Chinese government to control population growth fosters the ever firmer establishment of selective abortion and infanticide in Chinese culture. This is especially the case in rural communities where there is a greater need for males to help out on farms. Many rural couples abandon their female new-borns or choose not to register them, a practice which prevents them from going to school and forces them to lead lives of hardship, exploitation and prostitution.
The shortage of female children in the population is having an ill effect on society. It is ever more the case that men can't find wives or revert to trafficking women; and it is now frequent that many single children must look after 2 or more elderly persons all by themselves. (MR)
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