Papers & Essays

Girl Children in China

The high incidence of prenatal sex selection is becoming an increasingly serious problem in China.*1 This phenomenon can be attributed to deeply-rooted Chinese traditions that favor boys over girls. Furthermore, in rural villages, parents tend to want boy children because they can be expected to provide labor and care in old age. As a result, in some cases, some parents choose to abort the fetus when it is determined to be a girl.

Beginning in 2003, the Chinese government began a campaign called "Girl Care" that aims to eradicate this gender discrimination and protect the rights and interests of girl children. As part of this campaign, the CRN Photography Exhibition was held on the theme of "Care and Respect for Girls" at the Shanghai People's Cultural Exhibition Center from March 6 to 9 this year.

In total, 1,600 entries were received from the public, among which 100 photographs were selected for exhibition. The Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission sponsored the exhibition. As a body in charge of overseeing the "one-child policy," it works to promote concern for the lives, education, etc., of girls and to contribute to greater awareness of gender equality in society.

Having launched its Chinese-language website last year, CRN is now in its second year of exchange and communication with Chinese researchers and others involved with children. This recent exhibition devoted to improving the welfare of girls was met with great interest by our Chinese colleagues and visitors to the exhibition. We hope in this way to help create a society in which all children, whether they are boys or girls, will be cherished and loved.

*1
According to official statistics of the Chinese government, in contrast to the natural ratio of male to female births of 106:100, in Chinese, this ratio is 116:100.
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