What’s a Woman Worth?
Not worth the cost of the rice it takes to feed her.
Chinese women have traditionally been considered dispensable. Before communism came to power, women were viewed as servants. According to Chinese history, the birth of a son brought great fortune to the family, while the birth of a daughter was seen as a terrible burden. An ancient Chinese proverb says, “It is more profitable to raise geese than daughters.” Families wept when a girl was born, because she was an unnecessary expense. In ancient China, the sale of wives and daughters was completely legal. It was common for a family to sell the daughters to support the family.
When communism took over China in 1949, they immediately outlawed the sale of daughters and gave women the freedom to work outside the home. The famous Communist leader, Mao Zedong, elevated the status of women, saying that females “hold up half the sky.” The women of China were ecstatic – communism had given them equality. Or rather, it tried.
Communism really did try to give women equality. But equality wasn’t enough, because even today Chinese women are still being sold, killed and abused by the millions. The laws changed, but the underlying mindset did not.
Communism not only promoted women’s rights, but also sought to raise the availability of food, employment and education by decreasing the size of the Chinese population. The infamous One-Child Policy was implemented in 1980 and the resulting issues reveal the truth about China’s mindset toward women.
When families were limited to one child, the overwhelming majority wanted a boy. Sons give back to the family in wages and would take care of the aging parents, while daughters were seen as a liability that was expensive to marry off. Extreme measures were taken to have a son. Gender-selective abortions became commonplace, female infanticide skyrocketed, baby girls were abandoned by the millions, and parents sold unwanted daughters to traffickers for a profit.
Today, the Chinese government boasts that the One-Child Policy has prevented over 400 million births, but what they don’t tell you is that a majority of those never born were girls. This disdain for females has also created a massive influx of women and girls into China’s sex trade. On the flip side, the consistent preference for male children over females is quickly leading to a generation of men who have no wives to marry. Experts predict that by 2020, China will have 40 million more single young men than available women. Contrary to assumptions, this gender imbalance did not result in women being valued and treasured as equals, but simply raised their price as a commodity to be bought and sold.
Because the underlying mindset never changed.
No government law will end the sex trade in China. No agenda will liberate Chinese women from their suffering. No revolution can save Chinese girls from exploitation or death. It’s all been tried. It’s all failed.
How do women gain worth?
The answer isn’t equality. It is imagery.
A person’s worth is not based on the fact that they are male or that they are female, but that they were created in the image of God. It is that divine image that gives worth to a human being. It is for this reason that God says all life is sacred – because it bears His image. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
The only thing that sets men and women apart from animals is that humans were created in the image of God. So, when God is eliminated from law, government, and society, people become no better than animals to be used and exploited for selfish gain.
Imagery leads to dignity. A woman’s worth is not based on her gifting, talents or the ability to give back, but on the One being reflected.
The only proven cure for the abuse and exploitation of women? Jesus Christ
Jesus instructed husbands to love their wives as He loved the church. (Eph. 5:21-33) God names himself as protector of the husband-less and father-less. (Ps. 9:9, 68:5, 146:9) The Lord commands his church to care for oppressed women and children. (James 1:27, Deut. 24:17-22)
Ultimately, the solution to the terrible degradation of women in China isn’t a law, an agenda or a revolution. To change the mindset, the heart must be redeemed.
It is the human sin nature that causes the sexes to engage in power struggles, and regard one sex as superior to and more necessary than the other. It’s only when woman is seen as an equal but complimentary bearer of the image of God, created for the display of His glory, that her true worth and dignity will be recognized. Only then, will she be regarded as indispensible.