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Almost a decade since The Dying Rooms was made, Lisa Ling traveled to China to find out what is happening now to China's unwanted girls. She was part of the first camera crew allowed back in by the government to cover this topic since The Dying Rooms.

Today in China, Lisa found that baby girls are still being either aborted or abandoned by the thousands and boys outnumber girls by 17 million. Although the one child per family policy still stands, Lisa says families do have sons and daughters. "In the countryside, you can have more than one child. If your first child is a girl you can try to then have a boy," Lisa says. "The problem is that no matter how you try, you can't force yourself to have a boy. So if you continue to have girls, a lot of these families, they continue to give away or kill baby girls until they have a boy, and some may never have a baby boy.

"It sounds horrifying to give away the baby girls and it is. But in China, the boy will stay with the family and his wife will come live with the family so they can work the fields and stay in the home. Whereas if you give birth to a baby girl, [the girl] will [eventually] leave your family. So what the Chinese government is trying to do now is convince the people that women are productive members of society, too."

Lisa says that China has made "tremendous, tremendous strides in fixing the problem" including relaxing restrictions on International adoptions.
FROM: Children Who Shook the World and Oprah's Book Club
Published on December 02, 2004


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