China's government is to begin monitoring of gender ratios among newborn babies and the efficiency of measures against the sex imbalance later this year, said an official in Beijing Wednesday.
Vice Minister of the State Commission for Population and Family Planning (SCPFP) Zhao Baige said SCPFP and Ministry of Health officials would be dispatched around the country to undertake surveys.
More than 60 expert teams had already started evaluations of gender ratios and trends, and a survey of the implementation of the government's "Care for Girls" program, initiated in 2003.
In China, especially in rural areas, sons are traditionally preferred to daughters, which has resulted in many prospective parents electing to have an abortion if tests show the fetus to be a girl.
As a result there are 119 boys born for every 100 girls in China, much higher than a global ratio of 102 to 107 boys for every 100 girls.
The "Care for Girls" program, covering 24 counties in 24 provinces, aims to educate the public, farmers in particular, on gender equality and to promote the social status of women, while cracking down on fetus gender identification and selective abortion for non-medical purposes.
The program will be promoted across the country this year.
As part of the program, the SCPFP has initiated a competition on knowledge of the program in villages, towns, counties, cities and provinces from July to November.