China's War on Women Turns 30
Women's Rights Without Frontiers Outlines Atrocities
by Jube Dankworth Wednesday, September 22, 2010
On September 25, 1980, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party sent its open letter to party members setting forth its plan to control the population. The letter states that the new Policy would be temporary, lasting 30 years. In March, 2008, China's top family planning official stated that the One Child Policy would not end for at least a decade. As recently as January 19, 2010, Vice Premier Li Keqiang stated that "China would continue to pursue a low birth rate."
Littlejohn recalls one story of a young woman named Liping, who grew up under the One Child Policy in Henan Province. She had no concept of its true brutality until she became one of its victims. At age 23 she was seven months' pregnant with a baby she and her family very much wanted. Although this was her first pregnancy, she did not possess a government-issued birth permit. She was walking down the street one day and was stopped by family planning officials, beaten and dragged to a hospital. There she was roped to a sickbed and forced to abort. When she cried for help, the hospital staff beat her again. Although her baby had received a poison injection to the skull during labor, it "cried mournfully for some minutes, and later the crying ceased." When the nurse told Liping that her baby was dead, she fainted. When she regained consciousness, "there was a doctor standing by my bed and asking for money to 'get rid of the fetus' body.' I said I had no money and so they just used a plastic bag to wrap my baby and put it beside me." She concluded, "I could not imagine that I would be deprived of my human rights like this in a society ruled by law."
Yet Liping's story is not isolated. Here are some of the ways in which the coercive enforcement of the One Child Policy results in violence against women and girls:
1) Forced abortion is traumatic to women. It is a form of torture. To read one woman's harrowing account, visit http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=wujian
2) In China, sex-selective abortion and infanticide is common. Because of the traditional preference for boys, most of the aborted fetuses and murdered babies are girls. According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, the overall sex ratio for China is 126 boys for every 100 girls. Nine provinces had ratios of over 160 boys for every 100 girls, for second children. The article stated, "Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess males." This practice constitutes "gendercide."
3) Because of this gendercide, there are 37 million more men than women in China today. This gender imbalance is a major force driving sexual trafficking of women and girls in Asia.
4) China has the highest female suicide rate of any country in the world. It is the only nation in which more women than men kill themselves. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 500 women a day end their lives in China. Could this extraordinary suicide rate be related to coercive family planning?
5) Women who have violated the policy are often forcibly sterilized. Forced sterilization is a serious human rights abuse and can lead to life-long health complications.
There is no more intimate part of a woman's body than her womb. For the Chinese Communist Party to function as "womb police," wielding the very power of life and death over the people of China is a terrible violation of both women's rights and human rights. After 30 years of such a legacy, one thing is clear: it is time for the international community to rise up against this crime against humanity.
To sign a petition against forced abortion in China, click here: http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=sign_our_petition
Reggie Littlejohn is President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, a non-partisan, international coalition to oppose forced abortion and sexual slavery in China. As an expert on China's One Child Policy for Human Rights Without Frontiers and China Aid, she has delivered an address at the European Parliament in Brussels, briefed the White House and testified before Congress (the United States Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission). She has spoken at the Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, George Washington University, and The Heritage Foundation. A graduate of Yale Law School, Ms. Littlejohn has represented Chinese refugees in their political asylum cases in the United States. Website: http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/
To see a dozen expert reports documenting of these practices, visit http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=congressional
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