As the 63rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women closes today and women activists and NGOs hug their last goodbyes to New York City, we’re disappointed to report that once again the defenders of women’s rights have remained deafiningly silent on the atrocities of China’s forced sterilizations.
There’s been much self-congratulation about progressing gender equality, equal participation, girl’s empowerment, women in leadership and solidarity against child-marriage and female-genital mutilation. But the hot topic of a ‘feminist vision’ has suffered an acute myopia concerning China’s state engineered violence against women, which its coercive population control program still inflicts.
After years lobbying and informing @UN_CSW @UN_Women and associated women’s NGOs on this issue we are not surprized that they continue to ignore the plight of their sisters suffering under the harrowing dictates of the Chinese regime. Their record on this matter is a shameful betrayal of women’s human rights and seriously erodes, to anyone of normal intelligence and integrity, any residual moral authority or credibility they may have.
We have through our experience and activism on this subject come to a conclusion that these bodies do not care about the court of public opinion. Nor are they vexed by the staggering hypocrisy at the heart of their callous indifference to those whose lives have been devastated as a result of being forcibly sterilized. While demanding action across a range of rights for women, they choose denial, silence, delusion and evasion as a response to this issue. Why is this appalling duplicity operating you may wonder. How can it be that women who announce themselves dedicated to rights and equality remain unmoved by the disturbing reality of forced sterilizations?
It’s our view that these organizations operate and possess characteristics often defining a cultic mindset. There’s an exclusive ideology, a dominating elite and compliant devotees. An elevation of an enshrined philosophy above all other considerations, protected by an emphatic and consistent rejection of anything regarded as not conforming to the approved dogma.
Does this concerned sisterhood regard women’s freedom-of-choice, and opportunity to educational and career advancement, restricted and disadvantaged by having children? Does that explain their selective definition of reproductive rights as being the provision of safe and free access to contraception and related education? Those are of course important and justified resources yet a woman surely has the right not to be forcibly sterilized, an action that violently denies any chance of reproduction.
They choose to offer no comment on that, which begs the question; are these organizations holding to the unspoken view that women ‘unburdened’ by pregnancy and children are more likely to realize the ultimate goals of the much trumpeted feminist vision? If so it may well serve to account for their reticence to condemn or oppose forced sterilizations, atrocities which are tolerated and perceived as liberating women from the confinements of motherhood?
Our position on this is one of respecting all human rights, we’re not interested in arguments for or against abortion, nor do we subscribe to any side of the pro or anti debate. Unlike the participants of the UNCSW and NGO Forum we regard forced sterilizations as a disturbing example of violence against women, constituting a physical and psychological disfigurement and denying women the reproductive right to have a child.
We have eyes and ears on site at the 63rd Session of the UNCSW in New York City and at the end if the first week the reports are not good. The subject of forced sterilizations, especially those which form part of China’s population control program is off the table. Anyone who has followed our activism and reportage over the years on this gathering of the ‘concerned international sisterhood’ will know that there’s a taboo administered by UN Women and its associated NGOs on criticizing China’s regime and its mass campaigns of forcibly sterilizing women.
While participants are engaged in articulate and impassioned discussions on a range of concerns; equality, gender-based violence, economic empowerment and female genital mutilation being prominent. The plight of their sisters suffering forced sterilizations has again been given the cold shoulder. Not a politically correct issue for those who describe themselves as defenders of women’s rights!
Here we go again folks, as the circus otherwise known as the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), hits downtown NYC. It’s 63rd session convenes today and the defenders of women’s rights will no doubt be investing much energy, committment and rhetoric on issues of equality, empowerment and justice for women.
What however they will not be doing is giving any attention to the subject of forced sterilizations, this obvious and harrowing violation of women’s human rights is taboo.
Each year we expose and challenge the hypocrisy and silence of UNCSW, UN Women and the associated NGO Forum. All of which are consumed with concern on a range of issues impacting women, including reproductive rights.
Yet they refuse to make clear their opposition to forced sterilizations, which China’s regime is still implementing, and are in denial to the reality that reproductive freedoms surely includes the right for a woman not to be forcibly sterilized!
We’re going to be active on this during the two weeks that the UNCSW is in session. Keep updated via our Twitter account @tibettruth and Facebook page /digitalactivism
Our activism is presently targeting the United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women (UNCSW) and associated women’s Non-Governmental Organizations, convened at the sixty-second session of the UNCSW at UN headquarters, New York, March 12 to 23 2017.
Regular visitors here will know we’ve consistently exposed and challenged the UNCSW and women’s NGOs for their refusal to oppose and condemn forced sterilizations. In particular their silence on China’s coercive population control program. Clearly anyone supporting human rights would be concerned that a UN body and NGOs, apparently dedicated to defending and promoting women’s rights, choose to ignore these harrowing violations. Yet that’s precisely what is happening.
There’s something deeply wrong at work, especially when you consider that their collective silence and evasion on this issue is in opposition to the findings and concerns of other divisions of the United Nations! Unlike @UN_CSW (and @UN_Women) the UN’s Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) is sufficiently concerned about the plight of women suffering under the harrowing realities of China’s population policies to take action. It also is not inhibited to express its concerns:
“In November 2015, the UN Committee against Torture conducted its fifth periodic review of China’s compliance with the Convention.18 In its concluding observations, the Committee stated its concerns about China’s coercive implementation of the population policy, such as coerced sterilization and forced abortion, and the lack of information on investigations into such allegations” (Source: CECC Report 2016).
We would like to thank the UN Committee Against Torture for its concern on this most disturbing of human rights violations and greatly appreciate their decision to investigate and challenge the Chinese authorities on this matter. A few months earlier they had requested China’s regime provide information on ‘‘the total number of investigations or prosecutions launched against officials and other persons” with respect to coercion within China’s population program. Responding during October 2015 China’s government failed to furnish the Committee with the relevant data sought by UNCAT. No surprise there then!
This clear refusal to comply with a official UN inquiry into reports of violations imposed by China’s population control program provides further evidence (not that much more be needed) that women in China remain subject to a range of draconian measures that contravene a number of human rights principles and breach the United Nations’ Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women on 15 September 1995, endorsed by UN General Assembly resolution 50/203 of 22 December 1995).
That document, to which China is a signatory, states that governments which participated in the Fourth World Conference on Women reaffirmed their commitment to: ‘‘Ensure the full implementation of the human rights of women and of the girl child as an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms; . . .’’ (para. 9) and ‘‘are convinced that . . . [t]he explicit recognition and reaffirmation of the right of all women to control all aspects of their health, in particular their own fertility, is basic to their empowerment; . . .’’ (para. 17).
UNCSW and Women’s NGOs may be seen across social media as championing women’s rights and demanding empowerment across all sorts of areas. Such as education, employment, social mobility and human rights. Indeed who would oppose such calls. The priority theme for 2018 is ‘Empowering Rural Women And Girls’, and we have witnessed limitless energy and arguments to advance that cause.
However their take on ’empowerment’ does not extend to a woman having a right not be forcibly sterilized, they do not advocate what any right-thinking person would consider as constituting a fundamental freedom. Even as their prestigious UN colleagues in the Committee Against Torture document their concerns on the subject and expose the Chinese authorities blatant refusal to cooperate, they remain mute!
Meanwhile the parallel NGO Forum, which runs as ‘Side Events’ over the same dates is hosting a series of meetings and presentations. These for the most part reflect the main theme. However, other issues feature, including of course Female Genital Mutilation. No one is arguing these are not worthy subjects to be supported. Yet the key point is that the same community of women’s NGOs has again chosen not to give exposure to the forced sterilization of women. Yet those organizations are aware of those violations, especially with regard to China, despite such knowledge they have once more cast a veil of indifference over the subject.
This censorship and denial occurs each year at the UNCSW and NGO Forum, making a mockery of the claim that such bodies are committed champions of women’s human rights. If truth be known it is an agenda, or ideology which is being supported, not human rights as a universal principle, hence the politically correct themes and issue selectivity on display.
It’s arrived, the final day of the United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women (UNCSW) meeting in New York. A lot of folks will have seen, or been following our activism in exposing and challenging the censorship, which this event regularly imposes upon the subject of forced sterilizations. We’ve been greatly assisted in bringing awareness of this matter by our many friends on Twitter. Thanks to such solidarity and 24/7 action from @tibettruth people across social media are discovering the hypocrisy, denial and evasion, from organizations who declare themselves as champions of women’s human rights. There remains however the big question, and we are asked a lot about this, why is this horrifying example of violence against women being ignored?
Well here’s our take, drawn from years of campaigning, research, writing and lobbying on this issue. There’s a number of forces at work within the annual session of the UNCSW and the parallel Non-Government Forum which ensure the topic is not included.
1) A prevailing belief, though not often allowed expression, in which family-planning (including the brutal and coercive kind) is seen as enabling women a greater chance to enjoy more fully educational and employment opportunities and economic progress.
2) There’s also an unthinking subscription to the flawed and outdated Malthusian demographic model linking ‘sustainable’ population levels to resources. Those following this concept naturally find all sorts of rationalizations to reducing the global population. The result is a dangerous and delusional tolerance towards coercive birth control, on the basis of ‘the greater good’!
3) On the surface there’s an almost convincing display of unity of purpose from those in attendance, everyone seems to be ‘on message’ (so much so that the jargon and slogans which endlessly fill the cavernous interiors of the UN seem to be engineered!) But below the collectively synchronized rhetoric there’s a noticeable fragmentation. Or perhaps compartmentalization would best describe it. A developed sense of the myopic with each NGO so consumed with its own agenda or topic that it becomes either indifferent too and or ignorant of any issue beyond the lens of its preoccupation.
4) Lastly, and perhaps the most influencing factor which censors any mention of forced sterilizations, is that exerted by a hierarchy. We’ve seen it operate over a few years now, populated by a handful of politically positioned individuals. They occupy key roles within both the UNCSW and UN Women and are supported by what is effectively an executive cabal drawn from a range of leading Women’s groups. The record of these organizations concerning the subject of forced sterilizations is evidence enough that they are extremists, who have long ago abandoned any sense of conscience or integrity in exchange for the benefits of career, status and self-promotion. With such a mindset steering events is it any wonder that the suffering inflicted by forced sterilizations is willfully ignored?
We have been in and out of the CSW61 since March 11, it’s not been easy witnessing the censorship and manipulation which operates, yet clearly there are some well motivated people who attend. Others are so carried away by the event that no critical assessment of procedures is possible. Many are distracted by their selective cause, while some wander from meeting to meeting in wide-eyed naivety, while the anointed few guarantee the chosen agenda is promoted. Everywhere the officially approved sound-bytes are repeated, more in an act of faith than critical examination, in that sense it has all the superficiality and troubling phoniness of a cult. The adherents of this ideology are convinced that in following the creed (packaged, marketed and sold by the UNCSW) they are advancing women’s rights. Maybe they are. But only those meeting the approval of, and conforming to, the politically correct orthodoxy!
Video: Published for educational purposes and public access-copyright remains with BBC World News
So, finally, after many years the UK’s main news media has realized what we have been saying all along, that announcements by China’s regime of a change and relaxation of its laws on population control are little more than a cynical facade. The abuses, coercion continue to be enforced and women across China and occupied territories such as Tibet ad East Turkestan are still being forcibly sterilized and aborted by order of the state!
As investigated, acknowledged and reported upon by the UN Committee against Torture, Congressional Executive Committee on China and Amnesty International USA women living under the oppressive reality of the Chinese authorities remain subject to a draconian population control program that grossly violates women’s human rights. Forced sterilizations and forced abortions have not disappeared, nor has the spiral of coercion and intimidation been ended. Now the British Broadcasting Corporation has conceded the disturbing truth that no matter the public announcements from China’s government that its policy on population control has been moderated and coercion ended in reality the atrocities remain. While women are being bullied and terrorized into having sterilizations and abortions.
We wonder in the face of the evidence if now the United Nations Commission On the Status of Women,United Nations Women and associated NGOs will finally decide to take a stand against this harrowing violence against women and oppose China’s coercive population control program? We advise readers not to hold their breath on this!
So the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) launched March 14 it’s 60th Session and New York is again hosting hundreds of women’s NGOs and several thousand female activists all gathered to champion gender equality and end violence against women. Not all forms of violent behavior though, some it would appear are entirely acceptable to the United Nations, particularly China’s forced sterilizations, an issue which remains regularly ignored and evaded by those who gather annually at the UNCSW.
Yesterday Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director UN Women sat around the table with an old old friend of the UNCSW, Ms. Meng Xiaosi, member of China’s communist party, Minister and Vice-Chairperson of National Committee on Women and Children under the State Council China. She’s also vice president of the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF), a national organization that assists in the enforcement of China’s notorious population control policies upon women in China, and occupied Tibet and East Turkestan.
As we reported previously, in March 2010 as a delegate attending a UN meeting she received the applause of the UNCSW and Women’s NGOs. Just a few weeks later Ms Xiaosi was congratulated by her psychopathic colleagues in the Chinese regime, when in a period of two weeks nearly 10, 000 women were sterilized in one city alone! Of which Amnesty International noted at that time: “Local officials aim to sterilize 9, 559 people by 26 April, some against their will, in a drive to meet family planning targets in Puning City, Guangdong Province, southern China…The local authorities claim that by the end of 11 April, the 20-day campaign had already met 50 per cent of its target. A local doctor, quoted in the Chinese media, said that his team was working from 8am until 4am the next day performing surgeries for sterilization. Local reports suggest at least some people are not freely consenting to being sterilized”
The ideological storm-troopers of Ms Meng Xiaosi’s All China Women’s Federation infest every village, town and city, and are responsible at a local level for the enforcement of the population program. Through a spiral of intimidation and coercion they trample over women’s human and reproductive rights to meet Government population targets, imposing fines, organizing education campaigns, withdrawing employment and housing rights, and if such bullying fails, forcibly sterilizing women.
As a leading communist Chinese Minister, with responsibility for women, and particularly her role in the All China Women’s Federation, Meng Xiaosi has played a prominent role in planning and authorizing China’s population control tyranny, which has attracted international attention and condemnation from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International:
“Forced sterilisation (sic) amounts to torture, and it is appalling that the authorities are subjecting people to such an invasive procedure against their will. Reports that relatives are imprisoned as a means of pressurizing couples into submitting to surgery are incredibly concerning. The Puning City authorities must condemn this practice immediately and ensure that others are not forcibly sterilised. (sic)” (Kate Allen Director of Amnesty International UK)
Despite that atrocity against women’s human rights being widely reported the UNCSW offered not a single word of protest, while Ms Meng Xiaosi continues to enjoy the most cordial and supportive of relations with UN Women. On the issue of China’s forced sterilizations the UN Commission on the Status of Women and its associated NGOs have proved disappointingly apathetic to the plight of their sisters who are being subject to the horrors of such atrocities. This major violation of women’s human and reproductive rights is consistently ignored and avoided by the CSW and many women’s NGOs. Who this year will again be issuing declarations of intent to end all violence against women and girls. Apart that is from the psychotic violence inflicted upon women China’s forced sterilizations program. Atrocities neither recognized or condemned by the champions of women’s rights. Welcome to the hypocritical and integrity free world of @UN_CSW @UN_Women and related Non-Governmental Organizations.
It’s the international day against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and various social networking platforms are buzzing with discussions and comments in opposition to this issue. Anyone concerned with women’s human rights is naturally promoting this important event and demanding an end to the practice of FGM. The global outrage surrounding a vicious disfigurement and abuse of a woman’s freedom of control over her own body has attracted concerted and fierce opposition. Such a response contrasts starkly with the subject of China’s medical atrocities. While 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 campaigning against FGM they are virtually invisible when it comes to China’s forced sterilization of women.
Is the slicing open of a woman against her will, forcibly sterilized through such ‘surgery’, any less an atrocity 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 FGM, maintain a cold-hearted silence on the countless numbers of women forcibly sterilized by China.
While we support and respect all who are campaigning to end FGM such efforts are somewhat demeaned by the worrying absence of equivalent action against China’s program of forced sterilizations. Surely all violence against women should be equally and forcefully opposed?
Editor’s Note: Folks this post is by necessity detailed and features various links for cross reference, given the nature of the topic being examined we have no choice but opt for such a disclosure. We hope you will take time to go through this with care and attention which will will appraise you of the extent of censorship and appeasement that infests the United Nations with regard to China’s notorious population control program and its deeply disturbing atrocities.
The United Nation’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) concluded November 7 its fifty-ninth session in which it adopted concluding observations and recommendations on China. It’s central purpose was to establish how China implements the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. A somewhat misplaced exercise, rather like asking a clinically certified pyromaniac how his aversion to flames is progressing! The facts would always be in short supply from a regime notorious for censorship, evasion and deceit, especially when considering that China’s representative was Ms. Song Xiuyan. She is executive member of China’s communist party, Minister and Vice-Chairperson of National Committee on Women and Children under the State Council China, and vice Chairman (sic) of the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF), a national organization that enforces China’s notorious population control policies upon women in China, and occupied Tibet and East Turkestan.
She knows about Tibet having (until January 2010) been a so-called Governor in Amdo, one of occupied Tibet’s three regions (re-named by communist China’s regime as Qinghai Province). During her time there Ms Song displayed a racist intolerance towards Tibetan culture and was deeply resented by Tibetans, particularly given her reportedly close political relationship with China’s former President Hu Jintao. Whose hands are covered in Tibetan blood. According to one well-informed Tibetan source Ms. Song was publicly dismissive of Tibetan culture, an attitude that was reflected in her draconian term of office in the region. It was reported that on occasion she demanded that newly constructed government buildings, including schools, be rebuilt, if they included traditional Tibetan features!
It is not just Ms Song Xiuyan’s barely concealed racism that is troubling, but the organization of which she is joint head, the All China Women’s Federation, whose automaton-like members infest every village, town and city, and are responsible at a local level for the enforcement of the population program. Through a spiral of intimidation and coercion they trample over women’s human and reproductive rights to meet Government population targets, imposing fines, organizing education campaigns, withdrawing employment and housing rights, and if such bullying fails, forcibly sterilizing women. Such harrowing violations are all committed in loyal obedience to China’s communist party ideology. Anyone wishing to learn more about the ACWF’s complicity and implementation of these atrocities is advised to read Susan Greenhalgh’s Chinese State Birth Planning in the 1990s And Beyond
Ms Song Xiuyan who has been warmly received on previous occasions by the UN Commission on the Status of Women and headed China’s delegation at the 59th CEDAW Session and once again managed to largely evade and lie on the subject of forced-sterilizations, an atrocity which the United Nations and Women’s NGOs are virtually silent upon.
Having carefully examined the documents associated with the latest CEDAW report on China we regret to inform readers that once again those within the UN who claim to be champions of women’s human rights have chosen to marginalize and dilute the issue. So let’s take a look at what was stated, we begin March 10, 2014 when CEDAW published a list of issues it linked directly with China, that would be addressed in its forthcoming reports.See HERE In a section on violence against women there was no mention of China’s forced sterilization program, as we have revealed previously the UN clearly does not regard the issue as constituting a violent act against women. There are just three very slanted references which petition the Chinese authorities for a response, the first features in a section on Stereotypes and harmful practices
“Please indicate how the laws against sex-selective abortion, forced sterilization and female infanticide are monitored and enforced?”
The next appears in a section on health, paragraph 18 includes this curiously selective request of the Chinese authorities:
“Please also provide information on the progress made to combat forced abortions, and reported forced sterilization of transgender women”
The next paragraph asks of China:
“Please explain the measures taken to combat the phenomenon of forced abortions and sterilization of pregnant women who test positive for HIV”
These somewhat circumscribed and distorted appeals could not have been more precisely engineered to avoid China facing questions on the staggering scale of forced sterilizations that’s traumatizing countless numbers of women across China and illegally occupied territories such as Tibet, East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia. We can only conclude that the executives within CEDAW and their colleagues in the UN Commission On The Status Of Women are unconcerned with the plight of millions of women across China who are neither positive for HIV or transgender, that face or who suffer being dragged from their homes and being forcibly sterilized, courtesy of the very organization headed by the Chinese Minister so generously applauded by CEDAW in its report’s opening comments!
Note the willingness to accept the existence and practice of supposed laws on countering forced-sterilizations, how naive is CEDAW in swallowing the official propaganda of China’s Regime on the issue. The various cynical assurances offered by China, along with various legislation on the subject offer no genuine protection and meanwhile women continue to be subject to forced sterilizations. Can you imagine say the International Red Cross agreeing to question reports of forced sterilizations in Nazi Germany and then proceeding to ask Heinrich Himmler for a progress report without demanding to know the full extent of such atrocities, how many women were targeted, or evidence of those responsible being prosecuted! In constructing such a singular and specific questions CEDAW has enabled the Chinese Regime to circumvent the major concerns relating to its coercive population control program and the medical atrocities it inflicts. As usual it was aided by an unquestioning mainstream media which chose not to report on the glaring deficiencies and instead placed a positive, if misleading spin that focused on Chinese intimidation of activists See HERE
Against this background we awaited with interest the November 7 publication of CEDAW’s China report and its recommendations, so let’s go see what has been said on the subject
“Stereotypes and harmful practices 24. The Committee recalls its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CHN/CO/6, para. 17) and remains concerned at the persistence of deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and society, as reflected in the tradition of son-preference, resulting in the adverse sex-ratio by means of illegal sex-selective abortion as well as illegal practices of forced abortion and sterilisation (sic) and infanticide of girls.” (emphasis added) see HERE
Excuse us?! So let’s get this right shall we, the UN’s CEDAW rests responsibility for forced sterilizations, not on a centrally authorized, funded and engineered population control program but as a consequence of societal and stereotype factors? Just in case anyone was unsure if the UN was choosing to paint these harrowing atrocities as nothing but isolated criminal events, unrelated to the policies of the Chinese authorities, it followed up that reference with these comments:
“25. The Committee…… urges the State party to..(b) Intensify the implementation of existing legal measures to address sex-selective abortions, forced abortions, sterilisations (sic) and infanticide of girls” see HERE
Given the continuing censorship and evasion shown towards this major human rights issue, served by the political agendas of member states, we cannot expect any critique and certainly no examination of China’s continuing violation of women’s human rights or its mass campaigns of forced sterilizations suffered by countless women. CEDAW has again failed.