Yesterday, while changing the line in Shanghai’s subway I saw the add from the picture.
It is part of a campaign against abortions of female fetuses.
In a rough translation, it says:
Both boys and girls are the continuation of our lives.
Strong measures against the gender identification of the fetuses and gender-determined abortions!
Equality between men and women!
Please protect the girls!
Similar to other countries from Asia, in China many people value boys over girls. Before the one-child policy, it was not a big issue if families had girls first, as they could continue conceiving other children until at least one boy was born. However, after the one-child policy was introduced in 1979, and the technology facilitated the fetal gender identification, a growing number of abortions of girls was registered.
Although the authorities outlawed the sex determination procedures in the late 80’s, some families still manage to find ways for determining the gender of their unborn. My friends with whom I discussed this told me that these practices are more common in the countryside or the smaller cities; the people there care more about it and find easier ways to convince/corrupt doctors to help them determine the gender of their unborn.
Apart from the ethical considerations, there are also some practical ones that justify authorities’ fight against the abortions of female fetuses.
China has a huge gender gap – 33.6 million more men than women. Such a huge number of people unable to find a partner can lead to several problems, higher crime rate included.
However, the recent transformation of the one-child policy into the two-child policy, along with the continuing efforts of the authorities to stop the gender-selective abortions are expected to reduce China’s gender gap.
Until then, many groom wannabes have to stick with the situation or resort to other solutions – such as buying, or seducing, wives from South East Asia.