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Where's Walda?

            Since the late 1970"s, it has been apparent that China faced serious population problems. It was clear that a dangerously high population would strain resources. With a large population, it seemed impossible to provide adequate education, health care, and jobs. The Chinese government had to make extreme decisions to try to stabilize the country's condition. This meant harsh policies that would forever change the cultural make-up of China. Population experts and the Chinese government were unaware that their actions would put a woman's place in jeopardy.
             The Chinese population crisis began in the mid-1970's. Communist control for nearly thirty years made it exceedingly difficult to gather knowledge of the country's population. Under the political control of Mao Zedong, there was no second-guessing his stand on population; he felt that population control was a western idea. It wasn't until Mao's death when China was able to address its population problem.
             In 1978, it was estimated that China's population was roughly 826 million. Experts were shocked to learn that the actual population was over 1 billion. The government was quick to act and in 1979, they introduced the one-child policy. The policies stated that a couple was allowed only one child. This policy didn't stop there, it went on to eliminate many rights a woman once had. All pregnancies must be authorized, women are required to obtain a birth coupon before conceiving a child, menstrual cycles are publicly monitored, and pelvic examinations are performed on all those suspected of being pregnant. The results of illegal births are harsh on the mother and deadly for the child. All unauthorized pregnancies are terminated by abortion when detected regardless of stage of pregnancy. In rural areas, drowning or smothering aren't uncommon. If a couple went on to have more than one child, they are immediately sterilized.
             This one-child policy has had a sever effect on social attitudes towards women.

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