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The Struggle of Women in China Today
Transcript of The Struggle of Women in China Today
"The atrocities committed in the name of the one-child policy over the last three decades rank among the worst crimes against humanity of the last century. The stains it has left on China may never be erased."
Large Ratio of Males to Females
This problem has not only taken years to develop to the extent it is at today but it is one that will continue to impact this nation for years to come.
In this presentation we will discuss the cause, the effect, what the future will look like, and what is being done to further prevent and fix this problem.
Why do men out number women?
The problem began when the traditional Chinese preferred males over females. They believed that the sons could carry on the family name as well as take care of their aging parents better than the females.
In 1979 the One Child Policy was put into act.
It was originally justified as necessary because of excess population and to promote economic development.
As part of this policy women's menstrual cycle and pelvic exams are charted.
If a family had more than one child they were charged a fine 3 to 10 times a households annual income. This policy was not a problem for the rich because they could pay the fine.
If a woman becomes pregnant without permission and cannot pay the fine she risks being subjected to a forced abortion.
Parents have pre-natal screenings to determine whether or not they are having a girl. If they are having a girl she is typically aborted so they do not have to pay the fine.
Families who want a son typically abandon their infant daughters on the side of the road to die.
China's laws do not expressly prohibit or even define late-term termination.
336 million abortions and 222 million sterilizations since 1971(One Child Policy was put in place in 1979 but other policies were in place before then).
Sex ratio in China is 118 males for every 100 females.
China has the highest rate of female suicide in the world.
What has it done to society in China?
What will this lead to in China's society?
Today there are 35-40 million missing women in China, and the birth rate is 118 boys born to every 100 girls.
Why is this a problem? It has led China to soaring rates of bride napping and forced prostitution today.
Bride napping is occurring now because there are thousands of desperate bachelors out there. Many of them are poor and it is cheaper to buy a bride from an organized group then to pay a "bride price."
Traditionally a man will pay a bride price to the woman's parents to marry her. 40 years ago this price was about a sack of potatoes. Today brides cost anywhere from $1,100 - $1,250.
It is unfortunate that the increase in these women's monetary value does not improve the status of women in this country. Often times in rural areas the negotiating of the bride price is done completely by brothers and father. The men control who the girls marry based on the highest bidder.
There is such a wide gap between the rich and poor that many of these men will never marry. Even if they were to purchase a bride through criminals there's always a chance that they will be the victim of a scam and lose their life savings, or the woman may eventually run away.
The people of China are making progress with trying to improve the balance but one scary truth is how far they still have to come. I read a story of a woman who was kid napped and forced to marry a poor farmer. After birthing two sons she spoke of being relieved she did not have girls. She did not even make the connection that she should be praying for girls, that the lack of girls in her country is what got her here in the first place.
It is estimated that by the year 2020, there will be 30 million more men than women in China.
This will cause females in the marriage market to decrease, and competition for them to increase.
Chinese scholars expect, with a confident conclusion, that within the next 15 to 20 years China’s leaders will give in to societal pressure and get rid of the one-child policy. They also believe that the policy will move progressively, first changing to a policy of 2 children for all and then, later removing all restrictions on child bearing. The stop of the one-child policy will allow the population of women and children to grow.
In the present years, China’s government has been dynamically trying to improve the security of children and women. There are different policies that are trying help to encourage women’s all-around “human development.” These polices are promising, but will take time to develop and proceed into laws.
Through our research we have learned that China's problems are very real and there is no immediate solution for them.
The main factor that the Chinese government faces is to willingly accept the gender complications of the one-child policy, which the Chinese government has yet to do. The government’s obligation is to foresee how the gender gap will play out in the society, economy, and political system. They are also responsible for helping people adjust to these alterations in a non-disruptive way.
There has also been some talk of using social engineering to reverse the effects of what the one-child policy has created. The tough part about this is that social engineers occur when a centralized power, such as China's government, try to manipulate or override people’s preferences to make them behave according to a social blueprint. It is the opposite of allowing a culture to evolve naturally according to the preferences of individuals. Would this type of social engineering help China or hurt them? Is this not the type of behavior that put them in the situation they are in now? Unfortunately this proposed "cure" will only continue the process that helped create the crisis.
We have learned that China is taking steps in the right direction, however what is one very obvious thing China could have done long ago to help continue taking those steps?
The National Population and Family Planning Commission of China announced a nation-wide pilot program for modifying China’s traditional bias for male children.
Care for Girls is a program that determines to “improve the environment for girls’ survival and development.” Care for Girls was started in 2000 by a local government with support from the information, education, and communication department of the former State Family Planning Commission and the population and economic research institute. This involves talking to grandparents on gender equality to help the bias against girls.
Small loans are given to families that have only daughters to help develop income and also support girls to go to school. Speeches are given to the girls to educate and to help them with job offers to also help with family income.
These various activities are intended to remove discrimination against girls. Also, this is to help the survival for girls and eventually lower the enlargement newborn gender ratio to a normal level in 3 to 5 years. So far, this program has resulted in confident results.
How does China plan on fixing this issue?