Tiananmen Square 30th Anniversary: Human Rights Have Deteriorated Since

Reggie Littlejohn Addresses the 30th Anniversary Tiananmen Commemoration Rally on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol, June 4

The following is a speech Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, delivered on June 4 at the Capitol Hill rally to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. She could not deliver the entire speech because of time constraints, but the full text is below.

WASHINGTON, D.C.  30 years ago today, the Chinese Communist Party massacred innocent students as they took a courageous stand for democracy of their country.   They crushed any hope of political freedom in their land and left the rest of the world appalled, aghast at their brutality against the young and innocent.

Today, 30 years later, we see that human rights in China have not improved, but have deteriorated.

In 1994, when Most Favored Nation status was de-linked from human rights, the idea was that if we were to increase our economic and trade relationship with China, they would naturally embrace our values and improve on human rights.  That policy has proven to be an epic fail.

Today, Tiananmen Square could never have happened, because China has no freedom of Assembly.  People cannot gather on the square.   If just two people were to gather on the square and hold up a sign, they will be detained immediately.

It would be impossible to gather so many people from so many parts of the country onto the Square, because China has become a surveillance state.  They use technology as tools of repression:  Millions of surveillance cameras for facial recognition and millions more of internet thought police to spy on their citizens. They issue social credit scores, and if your score is low enough, you cannot travel.  They force people to study “Xi Jinping Thought,” which indoctrination permeates schools, billboards, and smart phones.

Reading the Congressional-Executive Commission on China report on human rights in China is like reading an indictment.  As China’s economy has grown, so has its notorious disregard of human rights:

* More than 1 million Uyghur and other Muslim ethnic minorities are currently in “Political reeducation” concentration camps

*Experts believe that prisoners of conscience and religious believers are being executed to harvest their organs for transplant

*China exerts complete control and censorship of the media, jailing journalists who dare to tell the truth

*Xi Jinping has been consolidating his personal power.  He essentially declared himself King, abolishing term limits so that he will remain President of China for life.

*Approximately 150  Tibetans have resorted to self-immolation to protest the repression of Tibet by Beijing

*Underground Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, have undergone a tremendous persecution, with churches being bulldozed, crosses being torn down, pastors and priests jailed.  In April, 2016, in Henan province, a pastor’s wife, trying to protect her church from being bulldozed, was buried alive by the bulldozer.  She has become a symbol of persecution in China.  

*  The coercive enforcement of their population control policies is China’s war against women.  The CCP has functioned as “womb police,” declaring life or death over every pregnancy in the land.   This coercion, begun under the One Child Policy, has continued under the Two Child Policy.

It has been estimated that 65 million people died as a result of Mao Zedong’s creation of a “socialist” China.  This number makes him the greatest mass murderer of the 20thcentury.   Yet even that number is eclipsed by the 400 million lives prevented by coercive population control.  I would add that 400 million to the 65 million for a total of 465 million lives snuffed out by the CCP.  

This is the hallmark of Communist regimes – the peacetime killing of their own citizens. 

The two-child policy has not stopped this slaughter.  The new rule is that every couple is allowed to have two children. Therefore, it is still illegal for single women to have babies in China, and third children are still illegal. 

Girls are still selectively aborted.  And senior suicide has skyrocketed 500 percent in the past 20 years, because the One Child Policy has destroyed the family structure in China.  Elderly widows are abandoned, destitute, and are at risk of suicide.

Gender imbalance exacerbated by the One Child Policy is driving human trafficking and sexual slavery.  In its June 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report, the State Department has listed China as a “Tier 3” nation, one of the worst offenders in the world.  Does the CCP refuse to crack down of the trafficking of women because doing so could cause an insurrection of the 37 million men who will never find wives?

What should we do?  

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is the only organization in the world that has boots on the ground to saving babies from sex-selective abortion through our “Save a Girl” Campaign.  We are also saving destitute and abandoned widows through our “Save a Widow” Campaign.

We should utilize the Global Magnitsky Act, which authorizes the US government to sanction those human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the U.S.  I propose this not only for family planning officials, but for all gross human rights offenders, who should be held publicly accountable.  Let all that has been hidden in darkness be brought to light.

With 1.4 billion people, China holds almost one fifth of the population of the world.  One in five people is suffering under the boot of this brutal, totalitarian regime.  The world will not be free until the people of China are free.

Posted in China's missing girls, China's One Child Policy, Chinese Communist Party, christian persecution, coerced abortion, communism, Forced Abortion, forced sterilization, gendercide, human trafficking, One Child Policy, Reggie Littlejohn, Save a Girl, Save a Widow, sex selective abortion, sexual slavery, Tibet, trafficking, Two-Child Policy, Uncategorized, Women's Rights Without Frontiers | Leave a comment

Littlejohn to UN: – “It is Better to Die…” Widows at Risk in China

Reggie Littlejohn (in orange) with her co-presenters and several attendees after the March 11 event.  Her co-presenters were Jing Zhang (second row, fourth from the left), President of Women’s Rights in China; Lois Herman, Coordinator of the Women’s United Nations Reporting Network, who moderated; and Ms. Margaret Owen, Founder and CEO of Widows for Peace Through Democracy, to Reggie’s right in the photo.  Credit:  Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers  collaborated with the Women’s United Nations Reporting Network to sponsor an event at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.  The event was standing room only, a poweful success.   Here is an excerpt of Reggie’s remarks:

“Zhen Ting’s” husband passed away with necrosis of the bone five years ago.  She still remembers his last months, in and out of the hospital. The doctor finally told Zhen Ting to take her husband home and buy him his favorite foods. They had run out of money for hospitalization, and there was nothing more that could be done to save him. 

Zhen Ting’s daughter-in-law became very angry at the cost of her father-in-law’s illness.  The daughter-in-law yelled at this helpless, elderly couple. She told the neighbors, “It is better to die than live in pain and make the whole family suffer, spending all our savings so that we will become homeless people.” The daughter-in-law held out the example of an elderly woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She hanged herself on a tree in the back yard, to save her family from having to pay medical expenses. 

Zhen Ting says that her son is an introverted person; he would never stand up to his wife.  She had no support, no one to turn to, when a fieldworker from Women’s Rights Without Frontiers told her about our “Save a Widow” Campaign. Zhen Ting is deeply grateful for the monthly visit and monetary support she is now receiving.  She says that even though her own son has abandoned her, kind strangers from far away are willing to help her.  She told our fieldworker, “God is showing mercy to me and sent me an angel.”  

“Zhen Ting” (name changed to protect her privacy), a widow given dignity, hope and practical help through our “Save a Widow” Campaign.  Credit:  Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.

China’s current elderly population is 241 million, 17.3 % of the nation’s total population, and rising.  China’s elderly population is set to peak at nearly half a billion, or 35% of the total population, in 2050.  

Sadly, senior suicide is on the rise.  According to a report in the China Daily — a Chinese government–affiliated English language news outlet — the suicide rate of rural Chinese elderly has increased 500% in the past two decades, from 100 to 500 per 100,000.  According to sociologist Liu Yanwu, who studied the issue for six years, “. . . I was more shocked by the lack of concern in villages where the elderly commit suicide . . . It seems that death is nothing to fear, and suicide is a normal, even a happy end.”

In the past, elders were venerated and cared for by their children and grandchildren. “Filial piety was valued in old China, but many elderly people in rural areas can no longer depend on their children as a result of the great economic and social changes over the past three decades,” continues Liu, “and the pension system fails to compensate . . . In China, farmers are vulnerable, and old farmers are the most vulnerable.”

Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “the studies show that the elderly, especially elderly widows who traditionally have depended on their children to support them in old age, are becoming destitute and so desperate that they are committing suicide.  They are the invisible victims of the demographic disaster caused by the One Child Policy and are in urgent need of help.  

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is committed to helping Chinese women at every stage of their lives.  Our “Save a Girl” Campaign helps baby girls to be born, instead of being selectively aborted or abandoned because they are girls.  Likewise, we help their mothers defend themselves against the pressure to abort or abandon their baby girls.   And now through our “Save a Widow” Campaign, we are extending help to elderly widows, to ease their suffering and give them dignity and new hope in the twilight season of their lives.  

These efforts are not enough to help all the baby girls or all the abandoned widows in China. We call upon the Chinese government to step up its efforts to help those most vulnerable. 

Reggie and her husband, Robert in front of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women banner.  Credit:  Women’s Rights Without Frontiers

Related Links

Can China Afford Rapid Aging?https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4949193/

https://springerplus.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40064-016-2778-0

Suicide Among Elderly Increases http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-08/04/content_18239837.htm  

China’s Elderly Population to Peak at Half a Billion in 2050 https://gbtimes.com/chinas-elderly-population-to-peak-at-half-a-billion-in-2050

China’s Elderly Population Continues to Rise, With 241 Million Now Over 60 https://gbtimes.com/chinas-elderly-population-continues-to-rise 

Save a Widow Campaign https://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=help-chinese-widows

Congressional-Executive Commission on China 2017 Report, “Population Control” section at p. 158 https://www.cecc.gov/publications/annual-reports/2017-annual-report

Ageing China:  Changes and Challenges https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-19630110

China:  The Disturbing Trend of Elderly Suicide http://www.silvereco.org/en/china-the-disturbing-trend-of-elderly-suicide/

Suicide Among the Elderly in Mainland China https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26672766_Suicide_Among_the_Elderly_in_Mainland_China

How China’s Rural Elderly Are Being Left Behind and Taking Their Lives, updated https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/how-chinas-rural-elderly-are-being-left-behind-and-taking-theirlives/article29179579/ 

Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/why-are-so-many-elderly-asians-killing-themselves-n32591

China’s Rural Poor Bear the Brunt of the Nation’s Aging Crisis https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-05/china-s-rural-poor-bear-the-brunt-of-the-nation-s-aging-crisis

Relying on Whom?  Poverty and Consumption Financing of China’s Elderly https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK109233/

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Littlejohn at UN Monday: Chinese Widows and Babies

UN Commission on the Status of Women Session 63

ABANDONED IN CHINA – BABY GIRLS & ELDERLY WIDOWS

Where Is Social Protection & Support?

March 11, 2019

Time: 10:30 am

Church Center of the UN – 8th Floor

777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 

The two most vulnerable groups of females in China are baby girls forcefully aborted or abandoned, and elderly widows. Widows are exponentially increasing all over the world, but the rising number of poor, destitute widows has been quite invisible, especially in China. Many are in small, remote Chinese villages and without social protection, social provision for survival with dignity. In a society that continues to favor males, baby girls and elderly widows are often considered a liability in China. Widows may have large medical bills for their deceased husbands and for themselves. Their family may be far away and often disinterested in caring for an ageing family widow. Baby girls, if they are lucky enough to survive, may be abandoned, as their mothers are pressured to “give them away” in favor of having a boy.

Baby girls and widowed older women are, indeed, a tragic hidden crisis in China. This panel will discuss, show examples, and consider viable solutions, for Chinese baby girls and for elderly widows, with a particular focus on social protection, greater gender equality, human rights, and social justice.

 Distinguished Speakers:
·         Ms. Reggie Littlejohn – Attorney, Founder Women’s Rights Without Frontiers 

·         Video on Abandoned Baby Girls & Forced Female Abortions in China

·         Ms. Dubravka Simonovic – UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women – Invited

·         Ms. Margaret Owen – UK Barrister, Founder & CEO Widows for Peace Through Democracy

·         China Elderly Widows Video

·         Ms. Jing Zhang – Founder & Director, Women’s Rights in China  

Moderator: Ms. Lois A. Herman – Coordinator WUNRN-Women’s UN Report Network

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Ever wonder why I do what I do?

Dear Friend,

Do you want to know why I have dedicated my life to helping the women and babies of China?  I explain it all — including my time working with Mother Teresa – in my keynote speech at the Georgetown Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life.  Even though this is the largest collegiate pro-life conference in the nation, my speech was very personal and watching it is a great way to get to know me better. Other keynote speakers have included Prof. Robert George and Lila Rose of Live Action.  

The speech begins at 9:53.  Click HERE to watch it.  This speech took place after the March for Life in 2017, but the message is timeless.

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Dr. James Dobson interviews Reggie on our work in China

Dear Friend,

I am grateful to Dr. James Dobson for his two landmark radio interviews concerning our work in China.  Here is the first, concerning the suffering of women and baby girls in China, and my personal journey into dedicating my life to helping them.  

To listen to the interview, click here. While the interviews took place in 2017, they are timeless. 

 

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It’s Giving Tuesday! Double your impact to help babies and women in China!

We’ve Received $10,000 in Matching Funds!
We need $75,000 to continue our work!

This girl is one of hundreds of babies saved by our “Save a Girl” Campaign

Dear Friend,

In this season of giving, please remember the mothers, babies and widows of China, who are still enduring conditions beyond our imagination. In the United States, we have 1 million abortions a year. In China, they have 23 million abortions a year, and many of them are forced. For every abortion in the U.S., there are 23 in China. More human blood flows out of China today than any other country.

Baby girls in China are still in danger of sex-selective abortion and abandonment, especially second daughters. In one horrific incident, after the Two-Child Policy was implemented, a woman was forced by her husband to abort four baby girls in one year, and she died. In another incident, a newborn baby girl was thrown over a wall. These are just two of countless heartbreaking examples of the brutality of son preference in China.

This disabled widow is one of manywhose hope and dignity has been restoredthrough our “Save a Widow” Campaign

Also, abandoned widows are the “invisible victims” of decades of the One Child Policy. They have no one to care for them and many are deeply in medical debt because of money they borrowed to try to save their husbands. Senior suicide among the rural elderly has increased 500% in the past 20 years.

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is shining a bright light of hope to the women and babies of China. China has announced that it is considering ending the Two-Child Policy, due in large part to international pressure! We have been called “the leading voice” in the international movement to expose and oppose forced abortion in China, and we feel that our voices have been heard!

Our “Save a Girl” Campaign has saved the lives of hundreds of baby girls from sex-selective abortion and abandonment. And our “Save a Widow” Campaign is giving a multitude of widows dignity, hope, and the ability to buy nutritious food. Many women have said they feel that we have been sent by God to help them, and they have begun to attend church!

Reggie and Anni on a camping trip in Yosemite

We are saving a girl right at our kitchen table! We rescued Anni Zhang, daughter of persecuted dissident Zhang Lin. Anni became known as “China’s youngest prisoner of conscience,” after she had been kidnapped out of her 4th grade classroom at age ten. We were able to help get her out of China and have been raising her as our own daughter ever since. Now, at age 15, she is a lovely young lady. We are proud that she performed piano in Carnegie Hall – a reminder of the beauty and brilliance lost every day through brutal son preference in China.

Reggie has been called “the leading voice” in themovement to end forced abortion and gendercide in China

We need to raise $75,000 to continue and expand our work. Every baby girl in China at risk of sex- selective abortion deserves our help. Every widow who has been abandoned by her family and doesn’t have enough to eat deserves our help. Will you help us help them?

Please partner with us by writing a tax-deductible check to:

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers 722 Dulaney Valley Road, Suite 325 Towson, MD 21204

With gratitude,

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Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday! Please Help the Women and Girls of China!

Double Your Impact!   We have $10,000 in Matching Funds!

Dear Friend,

The women and girls of rural China continue to live lives of hardship that we can hardly imagine.  Forced abortion and the sex-selective abortion and abandonment of baby girls continue under the Two-Child Policy.  Widows are abandoned and destitute.  Some are committing suicide.

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers is unique.  We are the only organization in the world with a network of fieldworkers, saving baby girls and supporting widows in rural China.   We have been called “the leading voice” in the movement to end forced abortion and sterilization in China.

Would you help babies and widows in China by donating generously today, or on Giving Tuesday?

With gratitude,

 

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China: WRWF Launches “Save A Widow” Campaign on 38th Anniversary of the One Child Policy

“Mrs. Wu” (name changed to protect her privacy). Photo credit: Women’s Rights Without Frontiers

Mrs. Wu is fifty years old. Her husband ended his life by jumping into the dam seven years ago, because he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, and they could not afford treatments at the hospital. Mrs. Wu’s heart broke. She wanted to join her husband in death because she could not live without him.  Traditionally, the husband is responsible for more labor than the wife in the small villages, the main support.

 Mrs. Wu felt her life was over and she was completely helpless. But her two son’s crying woke her up.  She knew she had to be strong for those two little boys. They had lost father already, they could not lose mother as well. At that time, her older one was nine years old and the younger one was only three. She could not remarry because no man would want to marry a widow who has two sons.  [The sons would carry on their biological father’s name, and under the One Child Policy, she could not have any more children.  Any man who would marry her would become a “bare branch” – the end of his family line.]  

She overworked all the time – carrying on her responsibilities as a single mother of two young boys, and at the same time, trying to do her husband’s farming job and provide for the family.  Still, she could hardly make ends meet.

She developed high blood pressure, suffered a stroke and become disabled during the spring of 2014.  She is now confined to a wheelchair.  

Mrs. Wu cannot believe that kind people from overseas are willing to help her and give money to her without asking her do anything. What kind of God do these people believe in? She wants to know this God, too. 

Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated:  “My heart broke when I learned of the incredibly hard lives of the elderly widows in China’s remote villages.  They have nothing, and no one gives them anything.  Their husbands often died leaving a mountain of medical bills behind.  For some of them, their husbands committed suicide when they learned they had a terminal illness, as they knew that they had no money for treatment.  Some of these widows are themselves disabled and confined to a wheelchair.   Some of them have contemplated suicide.

“So I decided to launch our Save a Widow Campaign.   We are already saving dozens of widows from grinding poverty and from the feeling that they have been abandoned by everyone in the world.  We come directly to their door to offer them encouragement and support to help make ends meet.”

The children of these widows are not helping them.  Sometimes these children are disabled and in need of help themselves. Most of the widows subsist on a meager diet of rice and vegetables, no meat.

One poor widow lives in guilt because her husband, who was disabled, slept on a pile of straw, which caught fire and he burned to death.  She feels that if she had been at home, her husband would not have died, and she cannot forgive herself.  Another widow was so impoverished that some days, she would eat only salt.  She was contemplating suicide and kept a rope in her room.  When our fieldworker found her and offered her hope, she said we are like a divine being, “saving people who are living helpless and hard lives.”  Now, with our help, she always has vegetables and often has meat.

How do we offer them hope?  Our fieldworker will come to their door and tell them that we want to help them because as human beings, they have great dignity and infinite value.   This is the opposite of what they have come to believe, having been cast off by their families and not helped by their government or anyone else.  We offer them a monthly stipend, just to help them live.  They inevitably want to know what they need to do in return.  Our answer: Nothing!  This is a free gift, just because we care about them.

These abandoned women are intensely grateful that someone believes that they are infinitely valuable and that they have dignity, even though their own families have abandoned them.  They cannot believe that someone from the other side of the world would just help them without asking for anything in return.  They have never experienced anything like this in their long, hard lives in the Chinese countryside.

China has the highest female suicide rate in the world.  According to a State Department Report, 590 women end their lives every day in China.  China also has a skyrocketing rate of senior suicide.  The One Child Policy has destroyed the family structure in China.  In the past, the Chinese enjoyed large families and it was not a burden for children and grandchildren to support the elderly. Now many elderly are completely abandoned and destitute, especially elderly widows.  And the sad solution for many is to end their lives.

Women’s Rights Without Frontiersis committed to helping Chinese women at every stage of their lives.  We help baby girls to be born, instead of being selectively aborted or abandoned because they are girls.  Likewise, we help their mothers defend themselves against the pressure to abort or abandon their baby girls.   And now we are extending help to elderly widows, to ease their suffering and give them dignity and new hope in the twilight season of their lives.

Learn more about the Save a Widow Campaign here.

Related Links

Congressional-Executive Commission on China 2017 Report, “Population Control” section at p. 158 https://www.cecc.gov/publications/annual-reports/2017-annual-report

Ageing China:  Changes and Challenges  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-19630110

China:  The Disturbing Trend of Elderly Suicide  http://www.silvereco.org/en/china-the-disturbing-trend-of-elderly-suicide/

Suicide Among the Elderly in Mainland China https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26672766_Suicide_Among_the_Elderly_in_Mainland_China

Can China Afford Rapid Aging?  Spring, 2016 (section on suicide) https://springerplus.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40064-016-2778-0

How China’s Rural Elderly Are Being Left Behind and Taking Their Lives, updated https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/how-chinas-rural-elderly-are-being-left-behind-and-taking-theirlives/article29179579/

Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves? https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/why-are-so-many-elderly-asians-killing-themselves-n32591

China’s Rural Poor Bear the Brunt of the Nation’s Aging Crisis https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-05/china-s-rural-poor-bear-the-brunt-of-the-nation-s-aging-crisis

Relying on Whom?  Poverty and Consumption Financing of China’s Elderly https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK109233/

Posted in One Child Policy, Save a Widow, suicide, Uncategorized, widows, Women's Rights Without Frontiers | Comments Off on China: WRWF Launches “Save A Widow” Campaign on 38th Anniversary of the One Child Policy

China’s One (Now Two) Child Policy Turns 38: Destitute Widows, the Invisible Victims

“Mrs. Li” (name changed to protect her privacy). Credit: Women’s Rights Without Frontiers

“Mrs. Li” is 70 years old and lives in rural China. Her husband died 30 years ago of leukemia. They could not afford treatment, so her husband died without it.  

She had three children.  Her daughter was killed in a car accident.  Her two sons are living in different villages and do not take care of her.

Because she does not have enough money for food, she eats only vegetables – no meat.  Sometimes she eats only salt.  She bought a rope ten years ago, so she can hang herself one day if she cannot take care of herself any more or if she gets sick. 

This week marks the 38thanniversary of China’s One-Child (now Two-Child) Policy, the most massive social experiment in human history, responsible for hundreds of millions of forced abortions and sterilizations, as well as the sex-selective abortion of tens of millions of baby girls.  These casualties are as well known as they are tragic.

Relatively unknown, however, is another enormous demographic group virtually ignored thus far: the elderly, especially widows. To address this, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers announces a major, new initiative:  our Save a Widow Campaign.

China’s current elderly population is 241 million, 17.3 % of the nation’s total population, and rising.  China’s elderly population is set to peak at nearly half a billion, or 35% of the total population, in 2050.

The One Child Policy has destroyed traditional Chinese family structure.  Before September 25, 1980, when the policy was officially instituted, China was mostly rural.  Farming families were large, as they needed to be in order to work the land.  Typically, one couple would have many children, and each of their children would have many children. When the original couple grew old and needed care, their needs were spread among many children and grandchildren, so that no one felt burdened.

Because of the One-Child Policy, many families now find themselves in the inverse position of one couple supporting four parents and eight grandparents.  That couple also needs to support themselves and their children.  Thus, many working age couples find themselves stretched beyond capacity.  Many of them simply do not have the resources of time and money to care for so many aging parents and grandparents. Additionally, with urbanization, many young couples have moved from the countryside to the cities, in order to make ends meet financially.  This move means that many elderly are left alone, with no family member present to care for them.

Sadly, senior suicide is on the rise.  According to a report in the China Daily — a Chinese government–affiliated English language news outlet — the suicide rate of rural Chinese elderly has increased 500% in the past two decades, from 100 to 500 per 100,000.  According to sociologist Liu Yanwu, who studied the issue for six years, “. . . I was more shocked by the lack of concern in villages where the elderly commit suicide . . . It seems that death is nothing to fear, and suicide is a normal, even a happy end.”

In the past, elders were venerated and cared for by their children and grandchildren. “Filial piety was valued in old China, but many elderly people in rural areas can no longer depend on their children as a result of the great economic and social changes over the past three decades,” continues Liu, “and the pension system fails to compensate . . . In China, farmers are vulnerable, and old farmers are the most vulnerable.”

Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “the studies show that the elderly, especially elderly widows who traditionally have depended on their children to support them in old age, are becoming destitute and so desperate that they are committing suicide.  They are the invisible victims of the demographic disaster caused by the One Child Policy and are in urgent need of help.  For this reason, we are now launching our Save a Widow Campaign.  We have boots on the ground inside of China, restoring the dignity and giving practical support to abandoned, destitute widows in China to show them someone cares.

“One of the widows we are helping is Mrs. Li, whose story is recounted at the beginning of this article.  Our fieldworker went to her door and encouraged her, saying that we will give her a monthly stipend to help her eat every day, so that there will be no more days where she eats only salt.  We have given her hope.  She was so happy she said that we are like a divine being, “saving people who are living helpless and hard lives.”

To learn more about the Save a Widow Campaign, click here.

Related Links

Can China Afford Rapid Aging? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4949193/

Suicide Among Elderly Increases http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-08/04/content_18239837.htm

China’s Elderly Population to Peak at Half a Billion in 2050 https://gbtimes.com/chinas-elderly-population-to-peak-at-half-a-billion-in-2050

China’s Elderly Population Continues to Rise, With 241 Million Now Over 60 https://gbtimes.com/chinas-elderly-population-continues-to-rise

Save a Widow Campaign https://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=help-chinese-widows

Posted in China's One Child Policy, One Child Policy, suicide, two child policy, Uncategorized, Women's Rights Without Frontiers | Comments Off on China’s One (Now Two) Child Policy Turns 38: Destitute Widows, the Invisible Victims

China Denies Plan to End Two-Child Policy

According to a Reuters report this week, “All content on family planning has been dropped in a draft civil code being deliberated by top lawmakers on Monday, the Procuratorate Daily [a state-run newspaper affiliated with China’s prosecutor’s office] wrote in a post on its Weibo account.”  News of this Weibo [Twitter-like] post sparked a spate of headlines heralding that China is about to “end,”and “scrap”the two-child policy, “finishing decades of family planning.” 

However, two articles this week in the China Daily– the official, English-language newspaper published by the People’s Republic of China – quashed these speculations.

In “Removal of family planning in draft doesn’t mean end of policy,” China Daily acknowledges that the reference to family planning has been removed from the draft Marriage and Adoption sections of the Civil Code.  However, it remains in the family planning section of the code:

“Given the country’s demographic situation, the decision [to remove family planning clauses from the Marriage and Adoption sections] has triggered widespread speculation as to whether it is meant to pave the way for the abolishment of the country’s decades-old family planning policy. However, legislators explained on Tuesday that there’s a special law on family planning, so there’s no need to include similar content in the marriage section while drafting the civil code.  Related regulations can still be found in the Population and Family Planning Law.” (Emphasis added.)

Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated, “The statement from China Daily does not eliminate the possibility that China is considering the abolition of its brutal population control program.  It does, however, clarify that the deletion of family planning content from the civil code sections on marriage and adoption law is irrelevant to this potential policy change. It seems that again, the media has jumped the gun in proclaiming the end of “family planning” in China.

“We continue to press for the complete elimination of all coercive population control measures, effective immediately.  Now, under the two-child policy, all couples can have two children.  Single women and third children, however, remain at risk for forced abortion.  In addition, girls – especially second daughters – remain at risk of sex-selective abortion.  We urge the Chinese government to specify that all women – not just married women – can have as many children as they want.  We also urge them to provide strong incentives for baby girls.  We have saved hundreds of girls through our Save a Girl Campaign.  We would encourage the Chinese government to implement such a campaign nationally.”

“In addition,” Littlejohn continued, “we need to guard against forced pregnancy.  On August 17, it was reported that two Chinese scholars proposed the creation of a “procreation fund,” into which couples of childbearing age would be forced to pay if they had fewer than two children.  Given the desperation the Chinese government faces because of its rapidly aging population, I could see a move by the Chinese government to pressure all couples who are eligible to have a second child into having a second child, whether they want a second child or not.  This would be preposterous. The Chinese Government needs to stop functioning as womb police and let go of the idea that women’s bodies are domain of the state.”

The abolition of coercive birth limits will not end gendercide in China, because many couples in China choose to have small families. Many do not want a second child, because of limited resources of time and money.  Because strong son preference remains, baby girls will continue to be selectively aborted and abandoned; people want their only child, or one of their two children, to be a boy.  Second daughters, therefore, remain especially vulnerable, even with the abolition of coercive birth limits.

“Because of the ongoing impact of the One-Child Policy and continuing coercive population control,” Littlejohn concluded, “hundreds of millions of Chinese women have been forcibly aborted, tens of millions of girls have been selectively aborted, and women from within China and throughout the world are being sucked into sexual slavery. China’s population problem is not that it has too many people, but rather that it has too few young people to sustain its rapidly aging elderly population, as well as a critical shortage of girls.  China’s One Child Policy has caused more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth and any other policy in human history. This is the true war against women.”

Related Links

Experts:  Civil code plans don’t mean family planning is over 8/28/18 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201808/28/WS5b8511a7a310add14f3883c3.html

Removal of family planning in draft does not mean end of policy 8/29/18 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201808/29/WS5b85d6ada310add14f388469.html

China moves to end two-child limit, finishing decades of family planning  8/29/18 https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/28/asia/china-family-planning-one-child-intl/index.html

China Is Preparing to End Draconian Family Planning Measures.  But That Won’t Solve its Demographic Crisis 8/28/18 http://time.com/5379947/two-child-policy-end-china/

China paves way to end family planning policy: state media 8/27/18 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-population/china-paves-way-to-end-family-planning-policy-state-media-idUSKCN1LD077

China Signals End to Child Birth Limits by 2020 at Latest 8/27/18 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-28/china-signals-end-to-limits-on-child-births-by-2020-at-latest

China could scrap two-child policy, ending nearly 40 years of limits 8/27/18 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/28/china-could-scrap-two-child-policy-ending-nearly-40-years-of-limits

China think tank slammed for ‘procreation fund’ idea 8/17/18 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-population/china-think-tank-slammed-for-procreation-fund-idea-idUSKBN1L2132

Posted in China's One Child Policy, coerced abortion, Forced Abortion, gendercide, One Child Policy, Reggie Littlejohn, two child policy, Uncategorized, Women's Rights Without Frontiers | Comments Off on China Denies Plan to End Two-Child Policy