Another side to the “missing 100 million”?

16 Aug

Worth a look:

From this article in The Irrawaddy:

To thank for this, experts say, is three decades of steady Chinese economic growth, heavy government spending on education and a third, surprising, factor: the one-child policy.

In 1978, women made up only 24.2 percent of the student population at Chinese colleges and universities. By 2009, nearly half of China’s full-time undergraduates were women and 47 percent of graduate students were female, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

In India, by comparison, women make up 37.6 percent of those enrolled at institutes of higher education, according to government statistics.

Since 1979, China’s family planning rules have barred nearly all urban families from having a second child in a bid to stem population growth. With no male heir competing for resources, parents have spent more on their daughters’ education and well-being, a groundbreaking shift after centuries of discrimination.

“They’ve basically gotten everything that used to only go to the boys,” said Vanessa Fong, a Harvard University professor and expert on China’s family planning policy.

Of course, this in no way discounts Amartya Sen’s argument that 100 million women were ‘missing’ because of sex selection and neglect.

In China, sex selection remains a frightening reality with the average ratio of boys to girls being born at 121:100. In the city of Lianyungang the ratio reportedly reached 163:100 in 2007. Not only is this a sad and disgraceful set of statistics, it also foreshadows what is sure to be a horrible adolescence for quite a number of China’s youth…Though on the bright side, the girls will have easy pickings (if they don’t already).

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