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National Campaign In China Aims To Rectify Gender Imbalance

Authorities in China “have begun a national campaign to crack down on procedures used to determine a fetus’ sex for anything other than medical purposes and abortions performed because a fetus is of a certain sex” in an effort to curb the country’s growing gender ratio imbalance, China Daily reports (Juan, 8/17). During the campaign, which will run until March 2012, “efforts will be made to raise awareness of gender equality, to severely punish those involved in cases of non-medical sex determinations and sex-selective abortions, and to strengthen monitoring,” according to Xinhua.

“Doctors who violate the ban will be stripped of licenses or penalized, and involved medical institutions will also be given harsh punishments, said Liu Qian,” vice minister of the Ministry of Health, Xinhua writes (8/16). The campaign responds to warnings from experts that “China may have 30 million more men aged 20-45 than women by 2020,” a problem that “could affect long-term social stability as a large number of unmarried men would mean a boost [to] sexual trafficking and hurt employment in some industries,” Global Times/People’s Daily notes (Shaojie, 8/16).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.