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Gender Imbalance in China

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Gender Imbalance 2 China has an unequal proportion of men and women. Although this gender imbalance has reduced with the development of society, it is still a big issue in China. Moreover, this gender imbalance will have a negative impact on society, such as populations shrink and trafficking in women, it means some people sell women to poor places. Addressing the issue of gender imbalance is crucial for China, and it is very important for China’s social development. Because most Chinese families prefer to have boys rather than girls, gender imbalance has become a big problem in China. Therefore, the government needs to increase education investment and change the 1-2 child policy. The feudal social system in ancient China resulted in gender imbalance. People’s traditional thinking led to families wanting a boy more because men are believed to be able to carry on the family line. For example, when a family has a child, the child always follows the father’s surname. “The strict patrilineal family system (meaning that the child belongs to the father’s lineage) vests responsibilities upon male descendants for economic, socio-cultural and religious functions, all of which encourage son preference” (Li, 2007, p.6). These traditional ideas influence people’s thinking. Moreover, people think that men have greater earning potential than women. For instance, many families think that men have ability to care for their elderly parents because the daughter will marry into another family. In addition, China’s one-two child policy has reduced the birth rate of girls because many baby girls have been aborted in sex-selective abortions. According to Ebenstein (2010), China’s population has declined, but the gender imbalance has become a worsening problem. The fact is that China has adopted a fertility policy to reduce its population which has led to a sharp decline in the proportion of girls. Some people even choose to abandon baby girls. Eventually, some families do not want to have a second child

Gender Imbalance 3after their first child is a boy because it takes a lot of energy and money to raise children in modern society. To sum up, China’s old ideas and policy caused a serious gender imbalance. If the number of females are less than males, it will have a negative impact in China’s development, and reduce the total population. A decline in the female population would also reduce fertility. Li (2007) says that a shrinking number of women will cause most men to have a hard time finding suitable women. As a result, this situation will distort the marriage market in China. At the same time, China’s population has fallen because of the sacrifice of girls. The aging of the population will quick in China. Gender imbalance can disturb the normal development of population. Many women were trafficked into poor areas because women do not want marry with poor person. This not only changed the girl’s fate but also brought a huge blow to a family. Maybe some of women who were trafficked will lose their lives, so this is a serious problem in China. “These and related social problems will damage the society’s overall welfare, and harm the long-term sustainable development of the Chinese population and society” (Li, 2007, p.8). Men may face difficulties in getting married. For example, if the proportion of men and women is very uneven, it is difficult for men to find the right women to marry. Men will has less choices to get marriage. It may also lead to a big gap in the age of marriage. Therefore, gender imbalance affects the sustainable development of society, and it is necessary for Chinese government to solve these problems. The Chinese government needs to invest more in education and change the child policy. First of all, the government needs to increase education investment, especially in poor areas because people in these areas do not have a good environment for studying. Knowledge can change people’s mind. For example, China began implementation of universal nine-year compulsory education. “These laws and regulations have played an important role in improving Chinese

Gender Imbalance 4women’s status in terms of political participation, economic development, education level and health” (Li, 2007, p.8). As a result, education also promotes the concept of gender equality. The second reason is China needs to change the 1-2 child policy because the 1-2 child policy actually reduces the birth rate of girls. The 1-2 child policy is that a family can only have two children at most in today’s China. “A relaxation in the One Child Policy could reduce the sex ratio at birth by allowing more parents to have a son without resorting to sex selection” (Ebenstein, 2010, p.105). It is true that some families may choose sex-selection abortion because of child policy. Changing the child policy could save lives about a lot of baby girls and it will help gender balance. Hence, education and policy are important factors in addressing the gender imbalance. The government is more influential and efficient because they are powerful. The first reason this is the best way is that increased education by the government will have a wider and more comprehensive effect. For example, increasing education investment will reduce illiteracy rate. “Policy interventions are necessary to ensure that sex-selection does not continue to be a chosen option for couples” (Bhattacharjya, Sudarshan, Tuljapurkar & Shachter, 2008, p.1844). It means the government investment in education will not make gender a factor when families choose to have children. This is because education can expand people’s horizons. Furthermore, education can instill the idea of gender equality so that people will treat women in the right way. Therefore, removing 1-2 child policy will make



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