Think Things Are Getting Better For Girls In China? Not So
Religion & Liberty Online

Think Things Are Getting Better For Girls In China? Not So

While Jezebel tells women to get fighting mad about having to pay more for deodorant than men,  and HuffPo is worried about why women “really” shave their legs, real feminists (you know, those who care about all women [and men], from conception until natural death) are noting that girls in China are in no better shape than they were under the most draconian years of Communism.

Girls are being abandoned: at train stations, at “baby hatches,” at orphanages, or simply left on the street. If the girl is sick, her chances of getting abandoned climb. Simply being female is a risk. A girl in China is twice as likely as a boy to die in the first year of life; if she makes it past her first birthday, her chance of dying triples.

One girl, 14-year-old Chen Shuzhen of the Hubei Province was abandoned after testing positive for leukemia.

Chen says she understands why her mother abandoned her, but hopes that once she dies her corneas can be used to help another child.

In a 2013 CCTV report it is said that more than 10,000 children are abandoned in China every year.  According to Xi Yiqun, vice president of Children’s Hospital of Shanghai, more than 1,000 children are stranded at his hospital each year.

Another nasty turn of events in a girl’s life? If a parent remarries, and wishes to have a child with the new spouse, the older girl may no longer be “wanted.”

One doctor chose to play on parents’ fears of illness. He would tell them their children incurable diseases and suggest the parents simply abandon the children. He would then sell the children to human traffickers.

The One-Child policy has led to a black market for at least 70,000 children a year, which includes abandoned and kidnapped children.  Male children that are kidnapped are often sold to couples unable to have a male child.

“We had a 17 year-old girl who gave birth to a healthy baby. She left immediately without even looking at the baby,” Dr. Feng pediatrician for Beijing Tongren Hospital says. “Beijing Children’s Hospital seems to have more of these cases than other hospitals like us. Parents think someone else will take care of their babies.”

This is wishful thinking on the part of parents. Legally, these children have no standing and officially, no one has to care for them. There is some movement to change laws that would require care of children, the elderly and infirm, but in rural areas of the large nation of China, there is little way to enforce such laws. China does not encourage adoption, either, due to fears of human trafficking.

While “feminists” sites can blather on about deodorant and armpit hair, the rest of us might turn our eyes and hearts to the children of China, and find ways to pressure the government there to recognize the inherent value of all chidren: male, female, healthy, ill, or disabled.

Read “China’s abandoned babies – male bias, one child policy, poverty all to blame” at Communities Digital News.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.