Care for Girls Campaign launched by China to check declining sex

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Hyderabad, Oct 30 (UNI) Faced with the serious problem of declining sex ratio, China has launched a Care for Girls Campaign to check it while providing financial incentives And social security to contain its population growth, Chinese Vice Minister for National Population and Family Planning Commission Baige Zhao said today.

Interacting to mediapersons here at the 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSH), Dr Zhao asserted that China was not following 'one child norm' as was the normal perception since the country has the total fertility rate of 1.8. However, under the Family Planning Policy couples in cities have only one child, those in the rural areas are allowed to have two children while minority community have been given freedom to have bigger families, she said.

The policy has been responsible for sustainable development of the Chinese population to 1.3 billion and it would reach 1.6 billion by 2050 by which time, she hoped, India would have the population of 1.7 billion.

Pointing out that the policy takes into consideration the regional imbalances in population and migration from rural to urban areas, the Vice Minister said it focused on increasing awareness among people and meeting the contraceptive needs of 240 million married people and providing them with social security so as to replace the son preference.

Asserting that China considered its population as an asset and not a burden, she said that the Family Planning Policy has gone well for the past 30 years and any change and improvement in it would require careful and serious consideration.

Lamenting the sex ratio imbalance in China, she attributed it to cultural and religious beliefs of people promoted son preference.

However, through concerted efforts the Sex Rate at Birth in 24 counties/ provinces has declined from 137 boys per 100 girls in 2003 to 124 in 2006. In view of the positive outcome of this pilot project, now the Care For Girls Campaign has been scaled up and expanded to the entire country. The National Campaign focused on involving leadership both at the national and provincial level, using Information, Education and Communication to increase awareness among the people and providing social security to the people.

Moreover, family planning and reproductive health services have been provided to couples as the country has 83% availability of contraceptive and about 30% couples go for sterilization to control the family size. This along with cracking down on illegal sex selective abortions has reduced SRB, she said.

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