This insightful guest post is from Ally Haefner, Regent Law 2L & current Family Law student.
This past Thursday, China abolished the long-standing one-child policy, allowing families to now have two children. This policy, enacted in 1980, aimed at controlling China’s swelling population. In this post, the Wall Street Journal observes that while the policy achieved this goal, many other problems were created: rise of abortions, forced sterilization of women, and a heavy burden placed on single children to care for aging parents. They say that although enforcement of the policy was eased two years ago, China’s abolishment on Thursday acknowledges the serious issues this policy has created. With China’s dwindling work-age population, the United Nations estimates 67 million workers will be lost between 2010 and 2030.
In 2013, CNN projected that 30 million more men than women will enter adulthood by 2020. In this article, Dean Lynne Marie Kohm discusses the rise of female infanticide and gender-specific abortions in Asian nations due to a preference for male first born children. This preference for male children contributes to the devaluing of women through the guise of empowering women with the right to choose.
The Wall Street Journal asks if this policy change comes too late. With a population raised in this society, there are less and less women for the growing Chinese male population to marry. If they marry at all, the Chinese people are getting married much later in life and having fewer children due to an incredulously high cost of living. Will this one-child policy perpetuate itself through the harmful effects it has already created? Only time will tell.
One thing is clear – China has realized that family restoration is necessary for its survival.