Littlejohn at UN Monday: Chinese Widows and Babies

UN Commission on the Status of Women Session 63


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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