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Interesting Points About China's One Child Policy

By Edited Jun 22, 2015 0 0

When China became a communist country, the leaders were encouraging population growth to increase the countries development; however, the population began to increase drastically so in 1979, China passed a one-child family policy to slow down the population growth.  The policy promotes later marriage, encourages people to have fewer healthier births and promotes one child per family. China’s one-child family policy was a success in slowing down the population growth; however, it was not a sufficient way of doing so for various reasons. Focusing on three of the reasons this policy is not a success are the preference for sons, because this leads to a gender imbalance; in years to come, there will be many more bachelors which will increase violence and political unrest. 

 It will also lead to sex-trafficking due to the increased number of women being sold into prostitutions or as wives. This is a result of China offering sex-selective abortions, which is a second implication of the policy; the country does not want females to be born but rather males.  Therefore, a family hopes their first child to be a boy because they will not get to have another child without being penalized. Furthermore, this leads to a third implication which is a missing girl’s problem, as females are neglected, abandoned, or even killed. China’s one-child family policy violates human rights; people were beaten, forced to be sterilized and forced into abortion. This occurred mainly because citizens had a lack of volition because only the people in power were heard and the citizens had no voice.

 The Chinese citizens do not have a voice; they are over powered by the communist leaders.  The citizens lack volition; it is said that the abortions in China are not forced and are voluntary, nevertheless there is documentation that states otherwise. Parents who have only one child get a "one-child glory certificate," which entitles them to economic benefits such as an extra month's salary every year until the child is 14 years old. Some other benefits for one child families are higher wages, interest-free loans, retirement funds, cheap fertilizer, better housing, better health care, and priority in school enrollment. Women are being subordinated, which is an example of Bandarage’s dominator paradigm. Women do not want to suffer consequences so they must follow the rules set by the people in power; this causes inequality and violence among the citizens who are frustrated with not being acknowledged.

 Delaying Marriage = An Extended Maternity Leave

Additionally, women who delay marriage until after they are 25 years old receive benefits such as an extended maternity leave when they finally get pregnant. Conversely, families who do not obey this policy are penalized; there are many disincentives for having more than one child.  Some disincentives include fines, no permission for the second child to exist and cancellation of government benefits. The government keeps files of all the child-bearing women and will hunt them down and force abortion if they find out the woman is pregnant with her second child, then the woman is also forced to involuntary sterilization. This is also an example of how citizens, especially women, have no rights; this shows patriarchy in China which is also part of Bandarage’s dominator paradigm. It also portrays a Neo-Malthusian perspective because the government refers to contraceptives and sterilization in an attempt to control the population growth in China.

 Furthermore, China’s one-child family policy includes sex-selection abortions which has caused a significant gender imbalance. This represents a Neo-Malthusian approach since it is a way of the government providing aid to the citizens. Nevertheless, China is presented with a problem because of the sex-selection abortions since there are currently 37 million men outnumbering women. The government has the power to order abortions and sterilizations and impose heavy fines called “social service expenditures” if the citizens do not obey the laws. This proves that in some situations the citizens are forced to abort their child if it is a female.  It is the people in power, the Communist leaders who are creating this imbalance and the result will lead the country to face severe consequences in the future. This is a global crisis because male Chinese citizens are going to have difficulty trying to find a female partner since females will be scarce; this will lead to very little population growth.

 One Child Policy And Gendercide

Moreover, China’s fast growing economy is confronted with gendercide; families resort to numerous abortions to make sure their one child was a boy. "The loss of female births due to illegal prenatal sex determination and sex-selective abortions and female infanticide will affect the true sex ratio at birth and at young ages, creating an unbalanced population sex structure in the future and resulting in potentially serious social problems," argued Peking University's head demographer. This gender imbalance will lead to many bachelors and as a result, women will be treated as objects; the women will be held to have more than one husband, and there will be an increase in prostitution and sex-trafficking. In both scenarios, the women are being disrespected and dehumanized.  Feminization of poverty is the primary issue for women, population and global crisis; empowerment is the main solution to women’s subordination. There needs to be a paradigm shift from a dominator paradigm, which is what the one-child family policy is causing, to a partnership paradigm. Female Chinese citizens need assistance from other people around the world who have the opportunity to help them encompass peace, justice, non-violent methods and empower women in China.

 China’s One Child Policy And Sex-Selection Abortions

In addition, this policy China implemented has a direct impact on women and girls due to the sex-selection abortions. Since families are only allowed to have one child, they want that child to be a boy.  Uultrasound technology for sex testing became available, followed by abortion for sex choice, which is associated to the rising proportion of men and the increase in a gender imbalance.  There are an estimated number of 6 million children who are undocumented for, which means these children cannot enter school, find work as adults or do mostly anything legally; most of these children are believed to be girls.  Some of the children that end up in orphanages are believed to have been seized by family planning officials and sold to orphanages, who in turn sell the babies to adopting parents. Undocumented children are also referred to as “black permit” children, these children are born and raised in secret and never registered to the government.

 The Movie The Dying Rooms And The One Child Policy

Depicted in the movie, The Dying Rooms, little girls were neglected to the point of death; the children usually died from starvation. It is evident through China’s population that they favorite masculinity; China is a patriarchal country. The reason parents desire sons is because they carry on the family name, inherit family property and are considered to be essential for supporting the aging family. While on the other hand, daughters are considered more of a liability because they bring less economic gain to the family. Because of the technology provided in China, people practice infanticide by sex-selective technologies; the technology gives doctors the capability of identifying a female fetus in order to abort them.  According to Chinese citizens and government, missing girls is a benefit to them for two reasons, because girls are poor investments and because it is a way of controlling the population.  Everybody is thinking narrow minded and not taking into considerations the consequences in the future.  The doctors are benefiting as well because of the growing market of sex selective abortions. The shortage of women in society is creating a major societal issue; it is one of the biggest challenges China is facing. 

 All in all, China’s one-child family policy represents a Neo-Malthusian approach. The Chinese government introduced the option for sex-selective abortion, and in some cities it is mandatory because they see it as controlling population growth. The communist leaders and the government are not thinking about the long term consequences, which could include a major gender imbalance and a missing girl’s problem. The one-child policy has been spectacularly successful in reducing population growth, particularly in the cities and as a result helped pull people out of poverty; nevertheless, this policy illustrates a dominator paradigm in all of its implications. The policy has created a global crisis, including patriarchy, female subordination, greed, hatred and violence.  Even though the policy has slowed down the population growth, it is not a sufficient way of doing so. There needs to be a social change in China; a paradigm shift from a dominator paradigm to a partnership paradigm where there is unity and respect among all humans, non violent procedures, where the citizens have a voice and global harmony.



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