Human Rights Activist: ‘A Woman Takes Her Life Every Three Seconds in China’

May 16, 2012 - 10:52 AM

Chai Ling

Chinese human rights advocate Chai Ling (CNSNews.com photo/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) “A woman takes her life every three seconds in China,” and men outnumber women by 40 million because of the “systematic elimination of girls” through forced abortion and sterilizations resulting from China’s one-child policy, Chai Ling, founder of the human rights group All Girls Allowed, said Tuesday.

Ling testified during a House Foreign Affairs Subcommitte on Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese activist who was imprisoned by the Chinese government and fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He is waiting to complete paperwork so that he can travel to the United States.

“Often missing from last week’s stories are the calls that define Chen Guancheng’s work and led to his imprisonment. It explains why he is the hero to so many in China today. I want to highlight this cause. It is the one that we share with Chen through our work at All Girls Allowed. The one-child policy formally sanctions violence against women. Chen knew this,” Ling said.

“Chinese authorities jailed him in 2006 after he filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the women who had undergone forced abortions and sterilizations because of the policy,” she added.

Ling’s group rescues victims of China’s one-child policy by seeking to end gendercide, rescue trafficked children, educate abandoned girls, and defend mothers.

“I would like to share some of the stories and images that will show you what is happening in China even as we speak. I should warn you that these stories are disturbing,” Ling said.

“They will give you a personal glimpse at the gendercide or systematic elimination of girls taking place in China, where men outnumber women by 40 million. They show the brutality of forced abortions. They show why Chinese women face a climate so oppressive that a woman takes her life every three seconds in China,” she added.

Ling shared the story of Deng Lourong, the second of three girls, whose parents wanted a boy desperately enough to violate the one-child policy only to have Chinese officials demolish their home and confiscate their belongings.

Lourong’s mother disappeared three days after giving birth to her third child, and her father fled too, giving the girls over to the care of their grandmother. “Undeterred, officials detained the girls’ grandmother in 2002 and left them without a guardian,” Ling said.

“During the night, a man broke into their room and raped the 12-year-old Lourong. Her sisters managed to obtain the release of their grandmother after this, but the elderly woman died a month after she returned home,” Ling said. Lourong’s rapist only received five days in administrative detention.

Lourong was sold as a child bride three years later to a man twice her age, and her sisters were sold by traffickers and have yet to be found, according to Ling.

“When a German reporter and Chinese volunteers found Lourong’s father last November, he told them that Lourong’s husband had turned her into a prostitute to earn income for him. He beats her frequently and sold her body to bachelors in that area. Deng was in poor mental state. She would roam the mountains for over a week sometimes before returning to the house,” Ling said.

“Remember all of this was set into motion by the enforcement of the one-child policy upon this family and the lack of value assigned to girls and women in China,” she added.