One-Child Policy Affected the Lives of Women in China
In the early 1970s China had an estimated population of 1.4 billion people, and the population growth was not stopping. With no apparent end in sight and a ever struggling economy, China slowly established the one child policy. This meant that a family was only allowed to have one child respectively. The one child policy was in affect in china for thirty-seven years affecting the lives of billions of born and unborn people in china. It was not until recently when the one child policy was replaced by the two child policy. There are many lessons to be learned from the infamous policy placed upon china. With the effects that the one-child policy had on china the world must recognize that women should be in charge of their own bodies, wealth should not be a determinate when that all children are valuable.
In 1234 the one child policy was place upon china by the central government because of the struggling economy at the time chinese officials believed that because of the ever growing population the economy would suffer. Therefore lowering the population was the idle path to take. Across the nation families were limited to one child. Of course this policy was not fully supported by everyone in China. While many couples in urban areas of china obeyed the new law many couples in more rural areas of china did not have to. This is because those in rural areas were .There were however exceptions to the one child policy. If for example a couples first child was declared handicap then a second child would be allowed. In most cases, if a the first born child was a girl the parents would be permitted to have a second child. This was because having a boy in the family would mean that the family name would be carried on through time. This eventually lead to further problems china that will be discussed later.
When the one-child policy ended however, it left drastic effects on china. The problem that china fought to fix was only made worse. Now that the the one-child policy was dismissed there is a new problem at hand. When couples were trying hard to give birth to baby boys therefore the amount of girls born during this time was far less then the amount of boys.Today there is a huge surplus of men looking for women to marry. This is only stunting the population problem not helping it as china had hoped. The one child policy is debated to have stopped over “400 billion” births.
It is important to recognize how the the one–child policy affected the lives of women in china. Women were at no mercy when they were discovered to have more than one child. The policy made women keep track of the contraceptives that they would use, the amount to children they had or were planning to have, as well when they would give birth. The article explains that those who were pregnant when they were not supposed to be were “marched off in handcuffs to undergo forced abortions” as it was considered a major crime at this time (Fong). The fact that this was something that many women had to go through was awful.
Women should always be entitled to their own body. This was something that no law should come between. If a woman’s happens to get pregnant and they willingly want to keep the child there is no reason for the government to infiltrate a women’s body to get rid of an unborn child. It is important that the world learn the important lesson that a woman is free to make her own choices and almost nothing should be allowed to come across that.
Wealth as it does in everyday life played a big role during the one-child era in china. The limit in the amount of children a family could have was obvious one. Of course there were exceptions to this rule, the first would have to be if the first child was handicap, if the first child was a girl, or the unspoken exception if the family was rich. Massive fines were placed on couples who gave birth to more than one child often leaving them with nothing. If a wealthy couple happen to have two kids, this issue would not have been a problem if a family was wealthy enough.
Another important lesson that must be learned is that all children deserve love. With the overwhelming desire couples had to give birth to a baby boy those who were “unfortunate” and gave birth to a girl were considered a disgrace. There have been many stories of how baby girls were tossed away or given up for adoption because they were undesirables. There was so much pressure to give birth to one child, and have that one child to be a boy that it made parents to unimaginable things. Not only was the pressure hard on parents but it was laos hard on the children who were not expected. The oldest child if it was a boy received love, care and honor while the second child was often neglected. Because of lack of care towards them, children knew that they were not wanted. To be the second child when you know that you were not supposed to be born lead children to be stressed, depressed and suicidal which only further proves the point that the one-child policy had hazardous effects on China.
With understanding the different ways children were treated, one can successfully understand why the one child policy negatively affected the future of china. Children knew that they were not loved nearly as much as the first born child. Girls who managed to survive during the one-child era faced many difficulties in life. It is important that no persons life is greater than others whether a baby boy is born, a baby girl is born or a secondary child their life is as important regardless of any honor that a family may receive. The one-child policy gave different children different values whether it was intentional or not the one child policy gave and took life away from many children.
The one-child policy shaped the way that china is today. Women were treated cruelly and went through so much to give birth to a perfect child. Children who were not what society wanted were neglected and not loved as much as they deserved to be. The policy was full of flaws that allowed many people to get away with things due to their class and wealth. In the end the one-child policy that sought out to help china enedend hurting the chinese people in many more ways than one. The effects are being felt to this day and though the new two child policy that was initiated is a start to solving these problems it will take much time and patient to get china to the way it used to be.