By Ye Liu
The Chinese Community Party’s decision to end its infamous one-child policy has significance beyond its impact on the country’s demographics. What was missing from all the discussion and reflection on the policy’s impact on the size of China’s labour force and on families’ human rights was the positive consequences of the population control policy – particularly for girls’ education.
The one-child policy, introduced in 1978, opened up educational opportunities for urban girls. Before its introduction, large families invested a little in each child or prioritised their resources in favour of sons rather than daughters.
But when parents were restricted to having only one child, and if it happened to be a girl, she benefited from being the focus of all their aspirations and investment. Continue reading