In the series of reports emanating from China regarding the forceful sterilization of Uyghur women and female children. All are pointing to the view that it’s to suppress their population. You may not understand because you are not there. Nevertheless, it is heartbreaking.

Chinese authorities continuously deny the accusations and try to rebrand them in some quarters. Looking at it critically, there might be some element of truth. But it’s important to know what women’s sterilization means and why the Uyghur ethnic minority is the focus point.

What is women’s sterilization?

Sterilization is a surgical operation that is meant to permanently prevent pregnancy in women. Fallopian tubes are blocked or sealed to prevent the eggs from reaching the sperm to get fertilized. Therefore, a woman can consider childbearing as an option. 

Community sterilization does violate human rights.

The phenomenon can be painful for women, which is why it should be done with mutual or personal conviction; otherwise, it violates the fundamental human rights.

Conversely, in the event of an over-population of a community, the authorities, for the interest of the community and planning purposes, might adopt family planning, like sterilization can be an options.

Sterilization should be done through proper education of women about the pros and cons of the process; it shouldn’t be done forcefully.

Does the Chinese population warrant the adoption of sterilization of Uyghur women specifically? 

China is overpopulated, and the effects of it are not just on the country itself, but also on the countries around it. with a population of more than 1.43 billion people. However, the Chinese authorities, in a bid to control their overpopulation, provide and enforce medical options. China’s first concern of overpopulation surfaced in the 1980s.

The one-child policy was one aspect of controlling those fears, and another was the use of birth control, of which sterilization was one of the options.

However, the human rights communities are concerned about the systematic handling of this issue. This is because it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children. The Uyghur women, on the other hand, are imprisoned for having two children.

Who is the sterilization target? 

Sterilization is an official measure by Chinese authorities to control childbearing. However, the Uyghur population seems to be the target, with the aim of nearly zero population growth through sterilization and intrauterine devices for birth control.

In 2020 census report further shows the decline in the population of Uyghurs, contrary to the Chinese authorities’ propaganda. The census report figures confirm a dwindling population compared to 2010. This shows that the Uyghur population has grown by just 16% in 10 years.

Furthermore, the data from the census shows the decline in the average age of children between 0–4 years is 36% compared with the age of children between 5–9 years. This shows that the lower the age, the lower the population, and the Uyghur minority group is gradually going extinct. It is disheartening and unacceptable.

Does Chinese authority violate human rights? 

Human rights bodies have widely and repeatedly confirmed that forced sterilization practices violate multiple human rights, including the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities are particularly vulnerable to acts of violence.

Therefore, Chinese authorities have indirectly violated human rights by discriminatory practices that are wrongfully targeted at ethnic and gender bias. And it is clearly a violation of human rights.

Animosity in the Chinese approach to the matter.

In January 2021, China announced via its US Embassy Twitter account that its practice made it so that Uyghur women were no longer “baby-making machines.”

The comment was weird, unfortunate, and uncalled for. It went a long way to show the sign of the oppressor. Chinese authorities cannot continue to tell the world that they are trying to open the Uyghurs’ minds while their rights are being trampled upon in this manner.

The oppressive nature of sterilization policies and practices against the Uyghur ethnic minority in the Xinjiang region, particularly against girls and women, is a clear violation of human rights. The Uyghur tribe has the right to freedom. 

What is going on here?

The world is watching while the Uyghurs, a Chinese ethnic minority, are going extinct. Where is our empathy in the face of adversity? Let’s rise up and condemn the inhumane treatment, and save Uyghur women and children from the persecution of the Chinese government. Abortion, sterilization, and intrauterine device use for birth control should be a choice, not forced.

Categories: Empathy Blog


Precious Peters is an honest, dynamic, and determined young man. He is a computer science graduate from Lagos State University. A blogger, a freelance writer, and a content writer who's waiting to make a difference. A knowledgeable facility manager and operations manager. He is passionate about the well-being of society. 


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