After recently watching the
How to End Gendercide video on the All Girls Allowed website, a flurry of emotions came over me; it began with a mixture of confusion, distress and worry and ended with a feeling of hope. I couldn’t help but imagine if I had been born in China, I could have possibly faced being abused, tortured, kidnapped, trafficked or even murdered…just for being a girl. Hearing the term “It’s a Girl” in China does not have the same joyous ring to it that it has here in the United States. In fact, it often comes along with shame and worry for the family, especially the mother, and many times end up in a tragic situation for the newborn girl.
A Flawed Policy
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tessa Dale, the Director of Communications for All Girls Allowed (AGA), a Boston-based NGO (Non-governmental organization) that is an initiative of the Jenzabar Foundation. Their mission? To “restore life, value and dignity to girls and mothers, and to reveal the injustice of China’s One-Child Policy”. For those unfamiliar, the policy was instituted 30 years ago by the Chinese Communist Party as a response to the growing population in China during the 1970’s. The policy, which allows families to only have one child without suffering consequences, was originally presented to the public as “temporary”. Today, it is still in effect. “The policy does vary in different provinces, but the majority of the people in China are only allowed to have one child,” explains Dale. “If a family does have more than one child, they are often fined a social compensation fee and/or fired from their job. This fine is almost always more than a family can afford – usually being 9 – 10 times the normal salary in China.”
Fines aren’t the only consequences used when enforcing the One Child Policy. Brutal methods occur as well, including abortions and/or sterilization that are forced on women (many of the abortions happening within a few days of the delivery date), detention and/or destruction of private property.
If you are unaware of the ratio imbalance of men and women in China and the problems it is causing, here is a recent statistic: The Chinese Government recently reported that there are 37 million more men in China than women – this imbalance is causing major problems for China, including soaring crime rates, record high rates of child trafficking and suicide becoming the number one cause of death for women aged 15-34. The One Child Policy has resulted in a rampant, gender selective mass killing in China – and millions of baby girls are missing. Action needs to be taken.
Has the World Turned a Blind Eye to Gendercide in China?
Dale describes how the One Child Policy has also led to a preference for male children. “Gender selective abortion is very common in China. Ultrasounds are illegal in China, but some families do find a way to have an ultrasound done. If in fact they find out that the baby is a girl, the woman is usually coerced by the father or mother-in-law to abort and make room for a boy. Many abortions are forced and the procedures are not done by a physician in most cases,” shares Dale. “We have heard so many horror stories of some of the forced abortions in China. Many times a needle is pushed through the mother’s abdomen and into the baby’s head. Then an alcohol mixture is pushed into the head and is supposed to kill the baby before it is delivered. This is usually done in the last days of pregnancy and often the baby comes out still alive, but they know the baby is going to die, so they just throw the baby out in a trashcan or drown them.”
The stories don’t stop there. Dale went on to describe stories of women who undergo forced procedures while still awake and under no medication, other women who have described their baby girls being cut into pieces upon delivery and instances where the cord will be wrapped around the baby girls neck upon delivery on purpose, but made to look like it happened through a natural birth process. Doctors can face consequences as well for delivering baby girls. “Many times, doctors are told ‘If you deliver this baby and it is a girl, we will not pay you or you will face consequences,'” she adds. “This policy is destroying the people of China. The government says that you aren’t allowed to kill your baby girls but they make the people feel trapped and feel like they have to have boys – as having a boy in China ensures the parents that they will have someone to take care of them when they grow old.”
What the Chinese government says and what they in fact do is also questionable according to Dale. “Anyone can go to our homepage and watch a video that contains a recent true account from a woman who went through a forced abortion. The couple already had one baby – a girl – and they found out they were having a boy. The Family Planning Committee told the husband and wife that they had to have an abortion (the wife was eight months pregnant at this time). Within hours of being told that they had to abort, the wife was beaten, repeatedly kicked in the stomach and taken to an abortion clinic where her child was killed by lethal injection,” shares Dale. Unfortunately, this woman is not alone and this scene is not uncommon.
Shortly after videos appeared on the News and internet regarding this incident, All Girls Allowed Founder, Chai Ling, made a statement: “Our hearts are broken again, for this family, for the suffering mother, father and innocent daughter, who is about to learn the cruel truth of the one-child policy through the fate of her baby brother whom she will never meet. We urge all people and leaders of the free world to view this video and hear the cries of the parents and this unborn child who was simply murdered. How long will the world turn a blind eye to this inhumane policy?”
One Woman’s Mission Offers Hope
Who is Chai Ling, you may ask? She is the Founding President and COO of Jenzabar, a provider of higher education software and services, and also the founder of All Girls Allowed. In addition to receiving her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.L.A. in Public Affairs from Princeton University, she established the Jenzabar Foundation – a foundation described on the AGA website as one that “supports the most inspirational and influential humanitarian efforts of student leaders through grant opportunities”. Speaking of key student leaders, this accurately describes Ling’s role during the Tiananmen Square movement in 1989. Ling states on the AGA website that “it was God who had watched over and protected her during Tiananmen, enabling her to escape China and build a new life in America”. Nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, Ling feels that she has survived to fulfill a specific calling on her life – to bring God’s love to China – and she is accomplishing that calling through All Girls Allowed.
AGA accomplishes its mission through four programs. One that particularly stands out is their Baby Shower Gift Program – a program that supports mothers and their baby girls in villages where there is severe gender imbalance. “With this program, we are asking families to keep their baby girls. We do this by offering the families a small stipend, 20 U.S. Dollars each month, for the first year of the baby girl’s life,” shares Dale. And the program is working. The stipend is used to help supply necessary nutrition, shelter and clothing for the baby. “Orphan sponsorship is more common; the baby shower gift program is a new model. Considering that it was only put in place last June, we are happy to report that we are already seeing change. Many of these families are impoverished and they do not have what it takes to feed their babies. The majority of people in China are very poor and about 400 million people live on 2 dollars a day,” tells Dale. “We already have 325 women and their baby girls being supported through the baby shower gift program and we are hearing stories of neighbors (that have boys) that now want to have baby girls.”
Other programs from All Girls Allowed include: Sign the Petition – a petition that will go to President Obama and Member of Congress with a message of putting an end to China’s One Child Policy; The Orphaned Girl donation program, where the money donated gives an older female the opportunity to receive an education; and a monthly donation program that supports AGA’s Anti-trafficking team, which helps reunite families of kidnapped or abandoned children.
The Perfect Role Model: Jesus
Although All Girls Allowed is one of the newer NGO’s out there, they have been making incredible strides and have had a powerful impact in the short time they have been around. Both Chai Ling and Tessa Dale believe amazing things are going to happen in the future. “We’ve learned a lot since our inception about infanticide (and other human rights issues) and the body of Christ’s role in eliminating evil deeds that are done against children. We really believe that in order for God to move in China, and in new ways in America, the Church needs to give its attention to orphans, the oppressed, the ‘least of these’,” shares Dale. “God is already stirring many hearts to stand on behalf of His children who are being killed…and in China’s 100 million Christian community. He has plans to use people to do this work—the question is, will the church be part of this mission or not? With a policy that was to be in place for 30 years, and we’re going on year number 31, it’s time for change. We could never do this work without God’s spirit. Jesus is the only hope for China, and He is the hope of our team. May the world see His body’s good works and glorify the Father in heaven.”
Tessa continues, describing how important prayer is for AGA and those who the organization is helping: “Without daily prayer (sometimes for quite a while), we would emotionally and spiritually be drained by the weight of this issue—but that’s not why we pray (though it’s a huge help to us). We pray because we really do think God wants to move on behalf of girls and mothers. He has already begun to answer prayers, whether for connections with other ministries and partners, or for children who have been trafficked (being returned to their families), whether it be babies who AGA has rescued who are now fighting for survival, or mothers who just needed hope, we’re seeing God do what we ask him to—to send his love to China.”
To learn more about All Girls Allowed, to sign up for the Baby Shower Gift Program, or to sign the petition, visit
AGA’s How to End Gendercide video can be accessed by going to: www.vimeo.com/19398331h