China kicked off a nation-wide campaign to significantly curb non-medical sex determinations and sex-selective abortions to balance the gender ratio, according to a working conference held on Tuesday.
The campaign was jointly launched by the National Population and Family Planning Commission, Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Public Security, All China Women’s Federation, State Food and Drug Administration, and People’s Liberation Army General Logistics Department.
The conference was also held to mobilize local governments, as it was video-conferenced in 1,125 counties across the nation.
During the eight-month campaign from August 2011 to March 2012, efforts will be made to raise awareness of gender equality, to severely punish those involved in cases of non-medical sex determinations and sex-selective abortions, and to strengthen monitoring.
Doctors who violate the ban will be stripped of licenses or penalized, and involved medical institutions will also be given harsh punishments, said Liu Qian, vice minister of the MOH.
China’s gender ratio stands at a relatively high level, 118.08 males for every 100 females in 2010, according to census data.
Li Bin, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said non-medical sex determinations and sex-selective abortions were the main causes of gender imbalance.
The country has implemented family planning policies for about three decades that have restricted urban couples to just one child, while ethnic minority families are permitted to have more children.
Although the country’s population has been controlled, illegal sex-selective abortions thrived in many parts of the country, as the country has a son-preference tradition.