For the background to the question raised by @AnonymousTibet see our post http://bit.ly/M26Qih
For the background to the question raised by @AnonymousTibet see our post http://bit.ly/M26Qih
What are reproductive rights? Well if you ask a majority of women who participated in discussions on the subject at the Rio Plus 20 Conference it would seem they are about making available family planning education and resources, which by extension enables a woman to determine freely when to give birth and how many children she wishes. The consequences of such provision include improved health, along with economic and social benefits for women currently denied such choices, that access to family planning. Not only that but in providing family planning to women it seems we can also tackle the major environmental issue of climate change, a topic that was woven into the reproductive rights argument at Rio, partly as a political move to enhance the arguments being presented and encourage further support from within the environmental movement. If you had any doubts at the global impact of family planning as a panacea to the world’s primary challenge be convinced by the words of Huffington Post contributor Diane MacEachern.
“Because ensuring that women have full reproductive rights creates one of the most desirable “two-fers” on the planet. Complete access to voluntary family planning is among the quickest, simplest, and most affordable ways to improve women’s quality of life. It is also one of the most direct, immediate and cost-effective ways to reduce climate change. In fact, studies show that slowing population growth by giving women access to the contraception they already want could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 8 and 15 percent — roughly equivalent to ending all tropical deforestation.” (Source: Women Leave Rio+20 Motivated to Galvanize Sustainability Around Family Planning and Reproductive Rights. 7.02.2012
It is an attractive and persuasive argument and no doubt embraced with zeal by environmentalists and feminists, yet in the clamor to press the logic and justice of such reasoning the debates at Rio, while articulating reproductive rights failed to address a hugely important element of women’s reproductive freedoms, a woman’s right to be able to determine, without coercion, the spacing and number of children. Now this right (which was formalized at the ICPD and is reflected in CEDAW) is purely theoretical for the countless millions of women who suffer China’s forced sterilizations and forced abortions, for them there are no reproductive freedoms, only a highly draconian and totalitarian system that enforces a range of coercive measures upon women to make them comply with the dictates of the state. Should financial penalties, arbitrary arrest, confiscation of property or loss of employment and housing rights fail women face the horrors of forced sterilization.
Unfortunately, as occurs regularly at the United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women, this gross violation of women’s human rights was completely ignored by lobbyists at Rio Plus 20 during the debates on reproductive rights, whose focus was to see such freedoms as being defined as access to family planning, yet without ensuring human rights are central to the provision of population control policies and practice, arguing for greater reproductive choice and services is divested of credibility and ethical authority. Yes reproductive rights are advanced by providing family planning resources and associated education programs, but they must also include the right of a woman not to be viciously assaulted by the state, denied control over her own body and suffer harrowing medical atrocities under the name of population control. Nor is it enough to claim such rights are enshrined in international statutes such as CEDAW and the ICPD while China enforces a program that so violently trashes those principles, yet the champions of reproductive freedoms offered not a word of opposition or condemnation. Informed and free choice yes, education and access to family planning by all means, but should not those who campaign on such issues be demanding those freedoms and services are extended to women suffering China’s population control policies?
Our colleagues who run @tibettruth recently launched an open appeal to the highly respected Chinese dissident, Mr Harry Wu and his organization the Laogai Museum, which is the leading research and campaign body on the issue of China’s slave labor camps. Having arranged last week an important meeting on the human rights situation within Tibet, it was thought that due exposure would be given to China’s forcible sterilization of Tibetan women. After all this internationally known campaigner had previously spoken out on the subject of Chinese women suffering China’s coercive birth control program, See Here so there was a hope for solidarity in exposing what is a major violation of women’s rights in occupied Tibet.
On Friday June 8th @tibettruth contacted Harry Wu and his Institute via Twitter, here’s the record of their appeal:
“@TheHarryWu We wish your Laogai Conference Every Success & Applaud Your Remarkable Courage & Integrity, However We Do Have Some Concerns >> relating to the troubling issue of China’s forced sterilizations, a subject you have spoken out upon. >> likely-hood that once again a major human rights forum on China’s tyranny will do wonderful work YET give no exposure or >> or detail to the reality that Tibetan women are also being forcibly sterilized. We naturally are troubled by such a silence >> more so when one of your main panelists, the International Campaign For Tibet, has kept shamefully silent on the fact Tibetan >> women are subject to the horrifying atrocities of China’s population control program. We shall be posting further on this >> We Have Challenged Your Guest Speaker Mary Beth Markey of the ICT to Address this question HERE http://bit.ly/LD5Huz >> As a main organizer & host for the conference on human rights violations in Tibet we call upon you & your organization to >> speak out on China’s forcible sterilization of Tibetan women. Continuing evasion and silence on this major human rights >> will completely undermine the credibility of orgs such as ICT while removing any moral integrity for them to speak >> on the issue of human rights in Tibet. We sincerely hope you may help us to ensure this subject is not ignored at your >> important conference. To that end we submit our report for your attention http://bit.ly/w5BGPn “
For whatever reason this request was entirely ignored until on the last day of his Conference our colleagues received a private message in response to their tweets of June 12 “@LaogaiMuseum Our appeal was openly tweeted to @TheHarryWu on Friday June 8 Sadly No response >> We sincerely hope that your conference on human rights/Tibet did not ignore our appeal?” The message in reply stated:
“We apologize that we are unaware of your appeal. Please forward it to email@example.com, and we will ensure it gets to the appropriate people”
It was a disappointment to receive such a reply, as one of our many friends on Twitter noted “all too little too late and evading entirely the appeal made by @tibettruth”.
Reading the Conference Statement issued by Harry Wu and participants of his event there is not a single word on the atrocities being forced upon Tibetan women by China’s population control program, as anticipated by our Twitter colleagues. Once more evasion and silence has greeted this subject from those who gathered to discuss examine and condemn human rights violations in occupied Tibet. As another follower of @tibettruth stated “It’s very sad and I simply do not understand it”. Many will share that feeling at how and why such an eminent campaigner for human rights in China and a number of leading Tibetan organizations chose to ignore the forcible sterilization of Tibetan women. It is very troubling indeed and raises some key questions for Harry Wu a man of supreme integrity and amazing courage, yet whose decision to avoid this issue has invited scrutiny, as @tibettruth have since asked:
“We are asking publicly @Laogai Museum & @The HarryWu To Clarify If They Believe China’s Lie That Tibetan Women Are Not Forcibly Sterilized?” (Tweet Sent June 13)
We understand that this question continues to be ignored.
Image: courtesy of @tibettruth
During previous activities to mark International Women’s Day on the 8th March much focus was rightly given to a range of themes. Unfortunately absent from the orchestrated championing of women’s human rights has been any prominent exposure concerning communist China’s treatment of women, and in particular its coercive population-control program. This year’s program looks likely to again ignore China’s sate engineered violence against women, indeed the only visible reference to China on the International Women’s Day website is a trumpeting that this day is a Chinese national holiday, hardly a cause for celebration given the harrowing reality of China’s targeting of women for forced sterilizations.These atrocities grossly violate the principle of freedom of choice and a woman’s right to control over her own body. In occupied Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia, Manchuria and communist China women are denied these freedoms and subject to the dictate of a male-dominated regime that inflicts a series of draconian penalties; including financial/mental/physical coercion, forced sterilizations and forced abortions.
The extent of these state-engineered abuses is staggering, yet the collective apathy from the women’s movement is puzzling and alarming. Imagine the response if just one woman was dragged from her home in Washington DC, Paris or London, beaten, tied to a medical slab and forcibly sterilised. There would be riots on the streets and rightly so! Such barbarity is a central element in China’s population program and has traumatised countless women across the communist Chinese Empire and yet all we have from the concerned sisterhood is silence! How can supposed feminists claim to be genuinely concerned about human rights and yet ignore or deny the plight of women subject to this brutality?
What possible motivation or reasons may begin to understand such a troubling position? We must firstly discount any absence of evidence or testimony, as a wealth of detailed documentation has been assembled over the years, and material continues to emerge. Much of this has been made available to a number of women’s organisations, yet the indifference remains. Faced with years of in-action and fudging from women’s groups it seems we dealing, not with an absence of evidence, but a singular lack of integrity.
On an individual emotional level this is indeed an appalling subject and perhaps too horrific for some, better perhaps to pretend its not happening? For others not softened by such humanity it would appear that reducing global population levels is worth any price, including human rights violations (even the devastated lives of women across Tibet, East Turkestan and Communist China).
Perhaps others may hold all things Chinese, or socialist, in fond regard and so shunt any inconvenient or odious manifestations of that culture or dogma into a siding, far away from any prying conscience. It appears easy for some, driven by their chosen world-view, to exclude any fact, which may destabilize a perspective that places economic rights above other freedoms. Surely all are equal and interdependent?
Consideration should also be given to the health of bank-balances, which for some women’s organisations may well have prospered considerably. As the saying goes ‘Silent Mouths Stuffed with Gold’ and one can only wonder to what degree the cynical and adamantine silence which has surrounded this issue is explained by merciless self-interest. Whatever the reasoning, this issue lies at the sensitive core of feminist ideology, touching, as it does, on freedom of choice and women having control over their own bodies. Such fundamental rights do not exist under communist Chinese rule, the state’s needs are seen as greater than those of the individual. It’s nearly eighteen years since delegates arrived in Beijing for the UN Conference on Women, fuelled by the noble vision of furthering women’s rights.
Yet during that time the systematic abuse against women has continued, making a mockery of the recommendations and agreements of the Platform for Action and Beijing Declaration. We were assured by the massed ranks of women’s groups, who attended, that active engagement with the Beijing Conference would help moderate the grim excesses of China’s totalitarian machine and improve the plight of women. As predicted by those organizations which boycotted the event the violations resulting from the program remain; forced sterilizations, torture, arbitrary arrests, forced abortions and infanticide.
Well one action you may wish to consider is contacting International Women’s Day and ask them, why each year they and their associates are silent on the subject of China’s forced sterilizations? They maybe contacted via Twitter at @womensday
However abhorrent this harrowing human rights issue, what is equally offensive is the cold-blooded response, which is shared by a considerable section of prominent women academics, campaigners and organizations. In remaining silent on the plight of Muslim-Uighur, Tibetan and Chinese women their inaction attracts the charge of complicity in a deliberate effort to conceal these atrocities.
Unlike the US Senate, Amnesty International USA,Congressional Committe on China, the British Medical Association, UK Parliamentary Foreign Parliamentary Committee and many other leading human rights groups and individuals, such as Dr Harry Wu, all of whom have acknowledged and condemned theses violations, many women’s organizations seem unwilling to engage this issue or campaign in support of their ‘sisters’. The traumatised women of East Turkestan, Tibet and communist China have little to thank them for and no reason to look forward to International Women’s Day.
This Uyghur woman became another victim of China’s forced sterilization program
“Imagine the response if just one woman was dragged from her home in Washington DC, Paris or London, beaten, tied to a medical slab and forcibly sterilised. There would be riots on the streets and rightly so! Yet such violence is a central element in China’s population program and has traumatised countless women across the communist Chinese Empire. Sadly in the time since the Beijing Conference on Women all we have had is silence, how can anyone truly committed to the rights of women claim to be concerned about human rights, yet ignore or deny the plight of women subject to this brutality? Faced with years of in-action and evasion it seems we dealing, not with an absence of evidence, but a singular lack of integrity.” Extract from the Tibettruth Submission to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. View Here
From February 27 New York City will be the destination for a large number of female activists campaigning on a range of issues from women’s human rights to social and educational issues. In addition to that major international event a NGO women’s conference will also take place at which a number of key subjects relating to women’s rights will feature, enabling NGOs to submit ideas and raise concerns with the 56th Session of United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women (UNCSW56) conference
Absent however from both these events will be any examination of the abuses suffered by women as a consequence of China’s coercive population control program. Indeed in the months of preparations for the UNCSW 56 this major human rights subject has received virtually no attention from Women’s NGOs, despite the fact such organizations are aware of the atrocities inflicted upon women across the Chinese Empire.In 2010 Tibettruth drafted and distributed a document, which was submitted to the UNCSW and Women’s organizations.
You can read/download the document in full Here
It would be extremely helpful if you would contribute to the effort to ensure this issue is not concealed and ignored by sharing this with friends and colleagues. Thank you for your continuing support and interest.
Whenever America’s banker flies into DC there’s a scramble to the wardrobes by the folks on the hill to find a suitably complimentary color, a clear leader in this obsequious race is Hillary Clinton, whose eye for an outfit never fails to impress. As China’s Vice President Xi Jinping met with U.S. Secretary of State for a luncheon yesterday Hillary was resplendent in a eye-watering red jacket. Politics and low fashion collided in an effort to make China’s next President feel right at home, and what better way than to be dressed in the color so appreciated by the Chinese Communist Party. Officials at the State Department appear to have been busy getting up to speed with China’s favored decorations for such occasions, which usually involve masses of artificial or natural flowers in various combinations of red and yellow. This charming combination had clearly not escaped the attention of covert operations who dutifully briefed staff at the Department on which color scheme would send the right psycho-graphic message to Mr Jinping, which no doubt explains the various items and shades which dominate in the photograph above!
It’s a stressful few days for Hillary, apart from the priority of having to fawn over the Chinese delegation and attend to the seemingly endless guest list of corporate heads all seeking a chance of grovelling before Xi Jinping, watched over by that éminence grise of US-China relations, Henry Kissinger, she is scheduled on Thursday February 16 to present the opening address at a conference to commemorate the Ninth Anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Organized by the State Department and held at the aesthetically pleasing surroundings of Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room, it is an important event highlighting a troubling violation of human rights. A number of prominent guest will also be giving speeches, following presentations by Joe Crowley and Hillary’s go to lady, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer. These include, Molly Melching, Founder and Director of the non-governmental organization Tostan; Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America; Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, General Manager of the German non-governmental organization Association for Crisis Assistance and Development Co-operation (WADI); Nafissatou J. Diop Director of the United Nations Population Fund and United Nations International Children’s Fund Joint Programme on FGM/C; and Zeinab Eyega, Executive Director of the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women.
Anyone concerned with women’s human rights will of course welcome this meeting and its objectives in terms of ending the practice of FGM and raising awareness of this harrowing subject, that it has established an international day of opposition reflects the degree of concern and political importance it has attracted, commanding the supported by Hillary and her Department. Of course Secretary Clinton is no stranger to issues of women’s human rights, and has on occasion spoken out on that equally disturbing issue, China’s policy of forcible sterilizations, on one memorable occasion, prior to the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Apart however from such isolated criticisms a veil of silence and indifference surrounds the subject of China’s medical atrocities, this contrasts markedly with the response to female genital mutilation, to which feminists. women’s NGOs and bodies such as the United Nations Fund for Population and United Nations Commission On The Status of Women are rightly opposed. It is a vicious disfigurement and abuse of a woman’s freedom of control over her own body.to cut that area of female anatomy for the purposes of cultural practice has attracted concerted and fierce opposition.
What is disappointing is that the same people (including invited speakers at the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation) are utterly silent on China’s mass programs of forced sterilizations. Yet, is the slicing open of a woman against her will, forcibly sterilized through such ‘surgery’, any less barbarous than the practice of FGM? Clearly not as both constitute a violent abuse of women’s human rights. Yet the influential and agitated voices of condemnation on female genital mutilation, many of who will be attending the meeting, maintain a cold hearted silence on the countless numbers of women forcibly sterilized by China.
While we congratulate Ms Clinton for her championing of human rights and support this event, its moral integrity is demeaned by the worrying absence of an equivalent day of action against China’s program of forced sterilizations. How about it Hillary? Will the State Department organize an International Day of Zero Tolerance to China’s Forced Sterilizations?
Double Click For Larger View
Image: courtesy of @AnonymousTibet
Once again the British Foreign Office (equivalent to the State Department) has chosen to ignore entirely the issue of forced sterilizations in its latest Human Rights Country Report On China. Not a single mention of this major violation of women’s human rights, the report, along with the cynical omission of this issue, may be seen HERE
This Department has been presented detailed material on this harrowing subject for many years and is acutely aware of the horrors it inflicts upon Chinese, Uyghur,Tibetan, Mongolian and Manchurian women. It is however more concerned with trade considerations and appeasing China to facilitate ‘positive relations’ even at the expense of ignoring the reality of these sickening atrocities.
Communist China’s head of forced sterilizations, Ms. Li Bin, has been over in England for the past couple of days and presented a talk, Wednesday May 19, at Marie Stopes International’s (MSE) London headquarters. No doubt the Minister of China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission was warmly received by the multi-lateral population agency, which works inside communist China, yet would appear oblivious to the horrifying women’s human rights violations caused by China’s coercive birth-control policies. Like its ‘sister’ organizations the United Nations Fund for Population and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, MSE though acutely aware of China’s program of forced sterilizations and forced abortions, which have traumatized countless women in China and occupied regions such as Tibet and East Turkestan, seems unable to offer a word of public condemnation, concern or opposition to such medical atrocties. See PDF Article Here A protest was organized by Tibet supporters in England, although bizarrely organizers went out-of-their way to state that they were not targetting Marie Stopes International, an organization which by its silence, and open support of the Chinese population program, surely merits criticism and challenge?
If you find this post of interest it will be most helpful if you would kindly share on any social network/s which you may subscribe to. Use the buttons below to add the post so others may become aware of this issue. Many thanks