A little over a week ago, a Live Action article highlighted All Girls Allowed and what it does in trying to reveal the true nature of China’s One-Child Policy. This organization also helps out mothers who keep and raise their daughters. As an interesting note, the All Girls Allowed website explains that its logo is a variation of the Chinese character for a girl, but with the added touch of this girl dancing for joy on the day when all girls can do so.
It seems that many people in this country have heard of China’s One-Child Policy. But from my own previous limited knowledge and in talking to others about it, there is a dangerous lack of understanding as to what this policy means and how it involves girls being aborted simply because of their sex. This policy has resulted in 37 million missing girls, to be exact. And so, one of the ideas of All Girls Allowed involves observing 37 seconds of silence in honor of girls aborted before they were born.
My college’s Respect for Life club decided to do a Women’s “Herstory” Month. The event so far which has gotten the most attention – and will stay that way, I think – is our All Girls Allowed 37 Seconds of Silence Campaign. Our event was held outside on a beautiful day with members handing out fliers. Also, people walking nearby could not ignore our giant poster and pink signs hanging up on a fence.
To represent the 37 million girls, there were 37 signs, each with a fact from the All Girls Allowed website. As so many facts show, China’s policy is not as simple as trying to control the population by permitting families to have only one child. Because there is such a policy as well as a cultural preference for boys, many young girls are aborted simply because of their sex–and even if they are born–they face an environment hostile to them. The Chinese government has reported that as a result of this gendercide, there are 37 million more men than women, which demonstrates the tragic loss of 37 million girls. I invite you to research this page for yourself. While it may be troubling, it is important to educate ourselves on what is going on in the world around us. This is a policy which many people think they know much about, yet it is far more destructive than most people can imagine.
The biggest part of a 37 Seconds of Silence Event is education. Because people don’t know enough about the One-Child Policy, they may not see a problem with it. I myself was never in favor of the One-Child Policy, but before I knew more about it, I never thought it was something so unjust that it was worth speaking out against.
My boyfriend, who is a recent pro-life convert, had a discussion with me on the policy and other forms of population control. He expressed how he could see how some other people may be for population control, especially in some parts of the world, where there are so many people. He also said, though, that it was not okay for such policies to work by targeting girls. That wasn’t acceptable to him. He’s right – it’s not okay. While no children should ever be aborted or killed in the name of “population control,” China’s policy is especially troubling because it takes population control issues one step further by targeting girls. Unfortunately, it is happening, though, and we have to let people know that the world doesn’t operate in ways in which we think or hope it does.
In hoping to educate our campus about the All Girls Allowed organization, we wanted to make this an issue that’s not merely pro-life or pro-choice. I have come across people who are pro-choice because they claim they support a woman’s right to choose whether or not she wants to carry out her pregnancy. Still, even such a person should be against pressuring a Chinese woman to abort her baby girl and try for a boy.
Fortunately, the students who came by were very receptive. One student read all 37 signs and then immediately asked me what he could do next! I very happily recommended him to the website’s learning section. Another student seemed hesitant at first to bother with us, thinking our display was just about abortion. He did ask some questions, though, and decided to find out more. He even agreed with us that such a policy was messed up and worse than he thought. As the club had hoped for, the discussion did indeed transcend being pro-life or pro-choice.
But despite all of this injustice, there is hope, thanks to All Girls Allowed. The 37 facts all detail unfortunate statistics about how girls are either aborted or mistreated in China because of their sex. To give our students ideas on how to help out, we included a 38th sign that directed students to various sections on the website. But the most important aspect of All Girls Allowed, I believe–and one that we can all take away–is the importance of educating. As every student I talked to walked away, I reminded him or her that we are all capable of helping to stop such a discriminatory practice in China by educating ourselves and our friends. To be educated is a wonderful thing, and in cases such as this, it can even help us to save lives.