One Child Policy

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  • China's One Child Policy
    • During the 1970s the Chinese realised that the population was growing exponentially
      • The country was heading for
        • Famine and food shortages
        • Air and water pollution
        • Disease and inability to provide adequate healthcare or eduation
        • Poverty
        • High unemployment/ homeless
        • Growth of shanty towns and low standards of living
      • Introduced OCP
        • 1 child= free education, healthcare and 5-10% pay rise
          • These couples also had priority to housing, pension, family benefits (education) and free family planning
        • Another child=10% salary cut, huge fine, pay for education and healthcare
    • How was it enforced? Each couple must...
      • Not marry until their late 20s
      • Must only have one successful pregnancy
      • Must be sterilised after their first pregnancy or abort future pregnancies
      • Must apply to marry and have a child
    • Any couple that disobeyed the policy would...
      • 10% salary cut and an enormous fine
      • 2nd child born abroad is not allowed to become a Chinese citizen
      • family has to pay for healthcare and education for entire family
    • Problems with the policy
      • Chinese children are know for being over indulged- "little emperor syndrome"
      • Chinese society prefers  sons to daughters so daughters were put in orphanages or left to die (over 15 million orphanages in China)
      • Women were forced to have abortions as late as the 9th month
      • Women under a lot of pressure, particularly from "granny police"
      • Local officials and government have control over peoples lives
    • Benefits of the policy...
      • Predicted famine never happened
      • Population growth slowed down- enough food and jobs
      • Improved technology and more exploitation of natural resources means increased standards of living
  • Changes to the policy in 1900 & 2000s
    • In 2014, policy was relaxed. Couples who are both only children are allowed 2 children
    • Attitudes towards daughters has improved and with less time needed for childcare, women have spent more time on careers
    • As wealth increases, people are happy to pay fines
    • There is now gender imbalance
    • The policy is unlikely to relax any further due to BR still being higher than DR
    • As wealth increased, people are now happy to pay the fine
    • Officials withhold identity papers and without them you cannot access healthcare etc.


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