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China mobilizes to tackle gender imbalance
( 2003-08-16 11:04) (Xinhua)

China's population department launched an action Friday in an effort to tackle the gender ratio imbalance that is especially serious in its some rural and underdeveloped regions.

Gender discrimination against females is quite common in many rural and underdeveloped areas, which has led to artificial choiceof new-born babies' gender by ultrasonic wave. This has reduced the number of female new-born babies.

The imbalance of the ratio between new-born male and female babies has affected the population structure in China to some extent, said Zhao Bingli, vice minister of the State Population and Family Planning Commission, at Friday's launching ceremony of the action to care for girls.

According to the fifth national census conducted in 2000, the ratio of new-born males per 100 females in China has reached 119.2,much higher than the normal level of between 103 to 107.

Zhao urged the population departments to emphasize more on adjusting China's population structure and eliminating gender discrimination beginning with pregnancy and by showing more care for girls.

The new action is to promote the idea of gender equality and improve the living environment of girls through the country's widespread family planning network.

As part of the action, the commission sent a team of about 50 people, including noted family planning workers and medical experts, to the vast western regions Friday after the ceremony. They will travel to five provinces and autonomous regions including north China's Hebei province and Inner Mongolia, as wellas Ningxia, Gansu and Qinghai in the northwest.

The team will give lectures on reproductive health and looking into the living and health conditions of girls in the regions. In addition, 300 girl school dropouts in those regions will receive donations of 500 yuan (60.4 US dollars) each from the team.

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