China faces a gender crisis with a surplus of 722 million men compared to 690 million women due to sex-selective abortions linked to the one-child policy, which ended in 2015. Despite its perceived strict enforcement, many couples managed to have more children, often favoring boys. The cultural norm of male heirs persists, impacting young women’s well-being as they endure financial, labor, and emotional abuse due to son preference.
Popular Chinese TV shows like “Ode to Joy,” “All is Well,” and “I Will Find You a Better Home” shed light on family discrimination against female children. Many women have taken to social media to discuss this issue, sharing their struggles and frustrations.
In families with strong son preference, daughters are raised to believe they owe their family for being born, leading to insecurity and low self-esteem. Some even contemplate suicide to escape this burden. Misogynistic remarks further perpetuate these harmful beliefs.
The struggle to break free from these abusive situations is challenging, as Confucian values emphasize male patrilineal descent and submission to parental authority. Women from such families often become socially isolated and lose their support networks over time.
China urgently needs policies and intervention programs to address son preference and its damaging effects on women’s opportunities and potential. Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment has become crucial to combatting the gender imbalance and low fertility rate in the country.
Re-reported from the article published in The Print