During a gripping testimony in front of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee, a human rights activist said China’s one-child policy has not only led to the “systematic elimination of girls” through forced abortion, but is causing an epidemic of suicide among women in China.
CNSNews.com is reporting that Chai Ling, the 46 year-old founder of the human rights group, All Girls Allowed, was testifying on Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese activist who was imprisoned by the Chinese government and is now awaiting completion of paperwork to immigrate to the United States.
“Often missing from last week’s stories are the calls that define Chen Guancheng’s work and led to his imprisonment,” Ling said. “It explains why he is the hero to so many in China today. I want to highlight this cause. It is the one that we share with Chen through our work at All Girls Allowed. The one-child policy formally sanctions violence against women. Chen knew this.”
She added: “Chinese authorities jailed him in 2006 after he filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the women who had undergone forced abortions and sterilizations because of the policy.”
During her testimony, Ling described the heartbreaking fallout from China’s severe family planning dictates, warning lawmakers that the stories she was about to share would be very disturbing.
“They will give you a personal glimpse at the gendercide or systematic elimination of girls taking place in China, where men outnumber women by 40 million. They show the brutality of forced abortions. They show why Chinese women face a climate so oppressive that a woman takes her life every three minutes in China,” she said.
One story was about a young Chinese girl named Deng Lourong, who was the second of three girls born to parents who so desperately wanted a boy they dared to violate the one-child policy. Lourong’s mother disappeared three days after giving birth to her third child and her father fled the family, leaving the girls to their grandmother. Officials then detained the grandmother and left the girls without a guardian.
“During the night, a man broke into their room and raped the 12-year-old Lourong. Her sisters managed to obtain the release of their grandmother after this, but the elderly woman died a month after she returned home,” Ling said, adding that Lourong’s rapist only received five days of detention.
Three years later, Lourong was sold as a child bride to a man twice her age. Her sisters were sold by traffickers and have yet to be found.
“When a German reporter and Chinese volunteers found Lourong’s father last November, he told them that Lourong’s husband had turned her into a prostitute to earn income for him. He beats her frequently and sold her body to bachelors in that area. Deng was in poor mental state. She would roam the mountains for over a week sometimes before returning to the house,” Ling said.
“Remember all of this was set into motion by the enforcement of the one-child policy upon this family,” Ling said, “and the lack of value assigned to girls and women in China.”
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Thank you so much for highlighting this issue. We really appreciate your prayers.
A quick note: we realized that we cited the suicide rate figure inaccurately. (The mistake was mine.) Female suicides occur at a rate of 500 women per day, which means one every three MINUTES–not seconds. I’m really sorry for that! I should have caught it beforehand. It’s still a horrifically high number, but we don’t want to give an inaccurate picture of it.
We have corrected the record. Thank you, Kat, and we’ll keep you in our prayers! Sue Brinkmann
I was glad to read your blog today. Many people don’t know of the crisis of suicide in China. Thank you for getting the word out. I am currently researching suicide in China talk about it whenever I get the opportunity. Bless you for your efforts!!