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50 Million Chinese Females “Missing”

A study of women and health presented to the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Conference yesterday stated that sex-selective abortion, infanticide and neglect were responsible for China’s skewed birth rate of 117 males for every 100 females.

The study revealed that despite the fact female babies naturally have better survival rates, more girls die in infancy because they are neglected, malnourished and mistreated while boy babies receive the best medical care.

The authors said that girls recieve less schooling than boys, are less literate, and are victims of pervasive violence. Each of these factors contributes to Chinese women’s ignorance about health care. They said that gender discrimination of this kind “inhibit the assertive capacity of women in all aspects of life, affect their ability to institute changes and hamper their access to health-related information. Sex-role stereotyping begins at a very early age and contributes to girls and women being accorded lower status in many areas of life.”

Sources:

AFP - September 25, 1997

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