China Pledges to Ban Sex-Selective Abortion
According to the Outline for the Development of Chinese Children (2011-2020), released today, China will strengthen its efforts to end sex-selective abortions as a means to close the country's gender gap. The Outline states that "using ultrasonic techniques to conduct non-medical sex determination" is strictly banned in order to "eliminate discrimination against girls."
Due in part to the country's policy restricting families to one child, China has a male-to-female birth ratio of 119 male children for every 100 female children born. In certain provinces, the ratio is 130 males to 100 females born.
In June, the UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO, and OHCHR issued a statement about sex-selective abortion: "Sex selection in favour of boys is a symptom of pervasive social, cultural, political, and economic injustices against women, and a manifest violation of women's human rights....There is a huge pressure on women to produce sons...which not only directly affects women's reproductive decisions, with implications for their health and survival, but also puts women in a position where they must perpetuate the lower status of girls through son preference."
Media Resources: Washington Post 8/8/11; Sacramento Bee 8/8/11; Xinhuanet.com 8/8/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/15/11