China and her Population Policy: An Indication of Genuine Concern for the People
Posted by amaracares
Can African countries learn from such a leadership style as China’s?
Let us revisit China’s Population Control Policy.
According to a recent CNN News report, China, the world’s most populous country with 1.3 billion people, boasts of leaders who are sensitive to her citizens’ needs. This vital leadership quality may be the secret of her success. What does China’s record show about her population policy?
In the 1970s, as a response to threats of overpopulation, China instituted a policy of one child per couple. From an economic point of view, this policy made sense, but from a human rights, religious and ethical perspective, it seemed harsh and inhumane. This drastic family-planning policy was enacted to combat concerns about whether the economy could support a rapidly-growing population. Because policy makers are always alert and focused, reviewing and making changes in the interest of the citizens. Now that the leaders have seen that almost after four decades of this policy, in spite of its benefits, its negative impacts are overwhelming: an increase in illegal abortions, forced sterilization, heavy fines, abandonment of babies and their mothers, and many other forms of cruelty to the unwanted female babies.
In addition, an unexpected negative impact on the workforce became problematic: lack of manpower to replace the aging and retiring population, creating a disturbing imbalance of the male:female ratio with males outnumbering females by a huge margin because of preferences for a male child.
The policy makers have therefore reviewed the situation and recently changed the one child policy to two children per couple, watching and monitoring the impact on the society, especially the economy and quality of family life.
Let us look at the situation in our African countries. I am not an advocate of this one child policy, but I am impressed by the commitment of the leaders. Take Nigeria, as an example. Do our leaders take time to feel the pulse of the common people and find a way to address their needs? Do we even know the rate of our population growth not to talk of putting it on the agenda for economic planning and effects on people’s standard of living? Who cares whether civil servants are paid or not, or teachers, doctors, nurses or other essential workers going on strike for poor conditions of service? What about the huge and endemic unemployment issues? Many of our leaders have their private universities and produce numerous graduates with no jobs for years. These are just a few of the basic problems good leaders make their priorities. What have our leaders got to lose? After all they did not depend on people’s votes to win the elections? These are some of our unique leadership problems that need to be addressed before we can make a headway in progress.
As long as our leaders are not sensitive to the sufferings and there are no unified pressures or demands on them, it is business as usual in all African nations.
There is one other aspect of the population issue I want to touch on. Chinese leaders were conscious of the effect of overpopulation and took drastic actions to control it. What about African countries and population growth? Most of our leaders at all levels, (including traditional rulers, kings, and chiefs), are encouraging polygamy, which puts no limit to the number of children a man should have. To make matters worse, many African countries are legalizing child marriage, an act that promotes poverty and suffering especially for women and children. The world’s youngest mother, a ten-year old girl, comes from one of the poorest African countries. What a world record!
Recently, it was reported that in Swaziland, another poor African country, over thirty young ‘virgins’ perished on their way to compete in an annual festivity in which the King chooses a new virgin wife every year. You can imagine how many wives and children that sixty-year old king has and the impact of such tradition on the population! Do you wonder why poverty reigns supreme in such a country?
As long as our leaders continue to indulge in practices that address their personal needs instead of the needs of the people, the continent of Africa will continue to remain “dark” by any measure and standards. China, Japan, India and many others have left African countries behind and this is sad indeed!!!
–Dr. Mother Love
What are your thoughts? Please comment below.