One-Child Family Plan Aids Women, China Says

Article excerpt

China issued a report Wednesday saying its one-child policy gives women more opportunities and is vital for China's future.

The seven-chapter report, released by the State Council, China's highest governing body, does not mention forced sterilizations, late-term abortions or other coercive methods used in China and condemned by human rights groups.

The release of the report - in advance of next month's U.N. World Conference on Women and a separate meeting of private women's groups - suggests that China anticipates criticism of its policies.

The report contends that women who have fewer children have less work at home, a better chance for outside employment and more opportunities to learn skills that will help them earn a living. Family planning has "greatly promoted the improvement of the Chinese women's status in economic and social affairs as well as in their families."

The Chinese people "have increasingly come to support and understand" the policy, and "shortcomings and problems . . . have been remarkably reduced," the report says, without discussing any problems.

Most Chinese couples are allowed one child. …

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