"This is caused by the growing gender imbalance among newborns, the high death rate of baby girls, and high death toll of pregnant women in some areas," said the Report on China Gender Equality and Women Development: 1995-2005, also called the green book on women.
The average death rate of pregnant women declined from 61.9 in 100,000 in 1995 to 48.3 in 100,000 in 2004. However, the book said, the regional disparity is alarming.
In remote ethnic minority areas, such as the Tibet Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province, the maternity death rates all exceed 100 in 100,000, with the highest being 310.4 in 100,000.
The number of health centers for women and children has dropped sharply in the past decade. The report said such centers amounted to 3,179 in 1995, but 2,998 in 2004.
"The decline will unavoidably weaken the health services provided for women," the report said.
In the past several years, the number of women taking gynecological check-ups remained comparatively low, lingering between 38 percent to 39 percent, said the report.
The book, dubbed China's first comprehensive report on gender equality and women development, claims that development of women is based on gender equality and equality is based on the mutual development of both sexes. It evaluated women's development nationwide in terms of health, education, economy, politics and decision-making, family and surroundings.