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No Women in China January 12, 2007

Posted by David in North-East Asia.
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After years of strictly enforcing its “one child” policy, the Chinese government is about to feel the effects of a badly though-out social engineering exercise. According to a BBC News article, “China will have 30 million more men of marriageable age than women by 2020”, and to say that finding a wife will be a problem, is an understatement.

China’s State Population and Family Planning Commission stated that in 2005, 118 boys were born for every 100 girls. Quite the jump from 110/100 recorded in 2000. However, in the country-side the picture is starker, with a ratio of 130 males to 100 females.

What do these numbers mean for China?

The China Daily carried a similar story where it mentioned that the lack of women “may lead to social instability” (because men can’t find wives), but there is potential for even more trouble. For example one problem may result in a negative effect on the country’s economy, in the area of domestic consumption. The average household (husband/wife and kids) spends a lot more, in the long run, than a single guy living alone and taking care of his elderly parents.

The solution: “To solve the problem, there must be a full-fledged social security system so that rural residents don’t have to depend on their sons when they get old, said Wang Guangzhou, researcher at the Institute of Population and Labour Economics affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.”

However, that’s not all. Is the one child policy truly beneficial to China? The government should seriously consider reviewing the policy. Culturally, a conscious push towards placing the same value on a female and a male baby would go a long way. Would this kind of idea succeed? I think it would. After-all the Chinese government has decades of propaganda experience.

I’m sure turning a few of their “re-education” centers into places where the people could be made to understand that women are just as valuable as men, would be worthwhile.

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