WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL IMPACTS OF CHINA’S ONE-CHILD POLICY?
China for centuries has had an extremely high population for the size of the country. The density of Canada’s population today is approximately 3.2 people per kilometre squared, while China’s is approximately 143 people per square kilometre (TradingEconomics.Com). In over-populated countries, there will come a time when thecountry will not be able to sustain or feed the people that populate it. This is when population control becomes an issue for the country and government. This policy limits couples from having more than one child in urban areas. China is the only country to have gone this far on the population control scale. The Chinese government knew the many problems that an overpopulated country couldundergo. Economic stress, pollution, resource depletion and starvation are some of the main problems with having an overpopulated country. In order for a better life for the majority of the country, the government thought ahead and limited the freedoms of families in China. To facilitate and enforce this law, parents had to obtain birth certificates for children before they were born so that thegovernment could monitor the families and population control at the same time.
Other than population control, the “One Child Policy” had an effect on many other areas of life in China.
HISTORY OF CHINA’S “ONE CHILD POLICY”
Talk of population control started after the formation of the People’s Republic in 1949. China had been an extremely industrialized country and it demanded ahigh number of labourers. Since companies and factories needed workers, the political leaders hesitated when acting on population control. Being a Communist country, the Chinese people have had to make sacrifices and commitments in order to implement the goals of China as a nation. The one child policy followed The Great Leap Forward (1961-65), which was China’s attempt to achieve rapid, nationalindustrialization. However this only led to widespread starvation. The one child policy is therefore similar, in that it is part of China’s attempt to modernize: to curb population growth so that the standards of living would rise. People however had to make great personal sacrifices in order to benefit the nation as a whole.
The first national Family Planning Office came about in 1964 forChina. The goals of this office were to lower fertility rates dramatically through distribution of contraception in urban areas. Government officials were given more power in circumstances of monitoring the residents and enforcing policies that they already had upheld. For many cities in China, by 1966 the fertility rates went down dramatically which was a success for the country. However, rural areaswere much less affected by these conditions and little change was experienced there until the Cultural Revolution which took place from 1966 – 1969. The office then achieved what they wanted, and extended their control to the places of smaller population in China. The Cultural Revolution wasn`t perfect for the spread of ideas and birth control services; the government had lost many of China`sfamily planning programs.
Starting in the early seventies, China became again more involved in promoting contraception with their programs and again aiming to lower fertility rates. This time they did much better due to education about contraception, and companies could mass produce various types of birth control. The government then had an advantage because of the research that they had investedin the programs. They had also promoted birth control and training for health care workers.
By the end of the seventies China had improved greatly on all areas of controlling birth rates. They had succeeded in lowering the rate to a sustainable level. By this time, most married couples had no more than two or three children, but the government still had its worries. They began to turn their...
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