It seems incomprehensible to me that a mother might dread the birth of a baby girl today. This is an age where a life of marriage and children for women is increasingly seen as an option as opposed to an immovable destiny, where stay-at-home husbands and breadwinning wives are common, and where even the archaic institution of monarchy in UK has evolved so that a younger son no longer takes his elder sister’s place in the line of succession. But the progression to equality between baby girls and boys that appears to be so normal to many people in the West – though certainly not all people – is far from established in other parts of the world, particularly in China.
In Ma Jian’s brilliant article, China’s barbaric one-child policy, he calls attention to the fact that there are only 100 girls for every 118 boys in China, in part due to the 336m abortions and 196m sterilisations that have been performed in China since the introduction of the one-child policy, often against the will of women either carrying children or with hopes to have more children in the future. These figures do not take into account the murder of baby girls once they are born, nor the constant enforcement of birth control on women. The tragedy of the one-child policy is that it perpetuates horrific crimes against all people: the children without brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles, the woman who has no control over her life, her body, her child and the daughter who is robbed of a life.
Drawing attention to the extraordinary number of missing, aborted and murdered baby girls in countries such as China and India is the documentary It’s a Girl. The trailer alone is astonishing. To call for action in response to the tragedy of “gendercide” they have provided a few links to help get people involved. Visit them here.
by Eloise Blondiau