Monday, July 26, 2010

Age-old bias for boys creates issues for China. Human trafficking is not the solution!!!

Women in China and neighboring east Asian countries are viewed as being of lesser value when compared to men. The Chinese traditionally prefer sons to daughters because of economical factors and I suppose this is somewhat understandable because residents in poorer regions rely on family resources to survive. However sayings among Chinese peasants like “The birth of a boy is welcomed with shouts of joy and firecrackers, but when a girl is born, the neighbors say nothing” upset me. I do not understand why a saying like this can be so common when in reality without women, all birth would be impossible!
We all know about China’s one-child population control policy which officially restricts the number of children an urban couple can have. And most are aware of China’s long tradition of son preference which is deeply rooted in the structure of the society. But the combination of tradition and policy has proved dangerous for women and young girls. There is currently a significant gender gap in several Asian countries because the birth rate of males in comparison to females is imbalanced. Such imbalance has created social issues and caused an increase in crime.
In many Asian countries human trafficking is on the rise due to a shortage of marriageable women. It is hard for men to find wives because their potential mates are often nonexistent due to the high percentage of families engaging in late term sex-selective abortion and infanticide. Now there is a demand for abducted women especially in poor rural areas where residents lack legal knowledge and are desperate to find work. Often women and children are tricked by unlicensed job and marriage agencies, lured through false promises of legitimate employment. Many are kidnapped and forced into marriages and prostitution. These victims suffer physically and psychologically and are often cut off from their families completely.
The Chinese government is working to reduce corruption and other economic crimes. Police are taking action and have made arrests within the human trafficking ring. I believe the issue can not simply be solved through these arrests however, it is also necessary for the Chinese to change their view of women. The chaos caused by the imbalanced sex ratio should be an indicator to the Chinese people that sustaining a female population is vital. It is quite simple, without women there are no babies, no female babies, no male babies! Yes, China is overpopulated but a country that is exclusively male just can’t work!
I’d like to see China’s perspective of women change for the better. Perhaps when women are valued, human trafficking, sex selective abortion and many of the other social issues will go away.

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