Millions of Chinese men are going to be growing old alone due to the country’s outdated one-child policy, according to the news service AFP. As many as 24 million men could find themselves with no wives by the year 2020. Could China not see this one coming?
The rule, which has been in place for over 30 years, was originally enforced due to overpopulation worries. This has caused there to be a glut of male births and sex-selective abortions, according to the AFP article.
Although it appears this law is hindering more than helping, Zhang Weiqing, Minister of China’s State Population and Family Planning Commission, said that the law will remain because the nation of China is about to hit a peak number of women in childbearing age, according to a March 2008 China Daily story.
Does Weiqing not see that the ramifications of upholding this law will be more far-reaching than population issues? Women will be at risk as trafficking to China of potential brides, kidnapping and prostitution could become serious problems. Since men won’t have many women to choose from in China, why not “import” them from other countries?
The actual statistics are staggering. China has 37 million more males than females, according to the China Daily.
Opinions are diverse on the subject of the one-child policy. Some proponents of the law say that China is so severely overpopulated that the law is helping. Everyone else thinks that aborting fetuses simply because of their gender is horrifying. I agree. I think China has really shot itself in the foot with this one. I can’t imagine how they couldn’t predict something like this would happen.
As a feminist, I am also just completely overwhelmed by how women are treated in China. They are obviously seen as second-class citizens and I can’t imagine how low their self esteem must be and what it must be like for them. I also have to wonder if the men are arrogant because they hold all the power. What a sad environment for women and girls to grow up in. I also wonder if all these men in power will be eating crow when they are all alone.
China is way behind the times. The various punishments for having more than one child include fines, extra taxes and possibly forced abortions and sterilization, according to Time.com. It also rewards couples that decide to put off having children or stay childless. I wonder if future Chinese will value women more as they come to see the worth of having a wife and family. I wonder if human trafficking will really become a sad and scary problem in China as men try to buy wives.
Selective abortions due to sex should be halted, the law should be overturned and China should make steps to combat what will surely be a huge social problem by the year 2020. The whole country could become unstable, and these laws may have been a seemingly good idea decades ago, but they really are a scary social issue now.
Short of some whacked out version of “The Bachelor”, Chinese men will be out of luck and living the single life unless something drastic happens in China, sooner rather than later.
Christi Alridge is a senior strategic communication major from Hillsboro.