International Women’s Day prompts call for UN to investigate China’s crimes against women
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day has prompted a renewed call for the United Nations to take a stand against the brutality experienced by women under the People’s Republic of China’s “one-child policy.”
At a Monday press conference, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the House Human Rights Subcommittee, was joined by Chai Ling, former student leader at Tiananmen Square and now president of All Girls Allowed, Harry Wu, former political prisoner and current president of Laogai Research Foundation, and Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, in demanding that the United Nations take notice of China’s horrific violence against women, and take action.
“As we mark the 100th International Women’s Day tomorrow, we appeal to the United Nations to end its complicity in coercive population control and defend women and children from forced abortion and forced sterilization in China – the worst gender crime in the world today, and, in scale, certainly the most massive,” said Smith. “We direct our appeal to the United Nations itself, to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to all UN agencies – especially the UNFPA:
“Pay attention to the UN treaty bodies, which have recognized the Chinese government’s barbaric violence and coercion against women – and stop supporting, or protecting by your silence, or passing over lightly, these terrible crimes.”
Smith noted that “too few people outside China” understand the Chinese government’s “massive and cruel repression and violence” inflicted on hundreds of millions of women.
Chinese women, he explained, are put under “mind-bending pressure to abort.” This includes, but is not limited to, steep fines and penalties for having illegal “out-of-plan” children that can be ten times a couple’s annual income. Failure to pay means jail time, and the woman’s extended family, colleagues, and neighbors can also be punished and threatened with the loss of birth permits.
“If the woman is by some miracle still able to resist this pressure, she will be physically dragged to the operating table and forced to undergo an abortion,” said Smith.
“It is a trauma she shares, in some degree, with every woman in China, hundreds of millions of women, whose experience of intimacy and motherhood is colored by the atmosphere of fear created by the government, by government threats and determination to intrude itself, in deadly fashion, into the most personal aspects of her life, as a woman, a mother, a wife.”
He added that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has “stood not with oppressed women but with the oppressors of women” and has “vigorously supported, funded, defended, promoted, even celebrated these massive crimes against women.”
The result, Smith continued, has been that 500 women in China commit suicide every day, making China the only country in the world where more women commit suicide than men. He also said the gender imbalance that exists because families abort in favor of having their one child be a boy to support them, has left millions of Chinese men without the possibility of having wives, and generated a greater market for human sex trafficking.
The congressman also condemned President Obama for providing $100 million to UNFPA, and the Universal Periodic Review for giving China’s leaders “a complete pass on the one-child policy and forced abortion” in 2009.
Smith called upon UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to speak out against China’s crimes against women, and upon Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director and Under-Secretary General for UN Women, to make the crimes against women in China a top priority.
However, neither UN leader mentioned China’s human-rights abuses against women in their official addresses. Both expressed concern, however, that “fewer than 10 per cent of countries have female heads of state or government,” and that worldwide girls tend to receive less education than boys.