Children of divorced women are outcasts in Chinese society
Children of divorced women do not have priority in education compared to other students (Anatolia)
China’s divorce rate has seen an unprecedented increase over the past decades, but divorce is still considered the most difficult option for couples, given the consequences of rejecting children and not being accepted in a society ruled by strict standards.
And last September, a report published by the Hong Kong-based non-governmental organization Chinese Workers’ Bulletin stated that “children of divorced women have difficulty integrating into state educational institutions, due to conditions that do not take into account their social conditions, which pushes in the direction of companies and vocational institutes which makes them vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination.”
Official figures reveal that there were 3.5 million divorces in the country in 2020 (of which 2.5 million have children), compared to 8.14 million marriages in the same year, which means around 2.5 million children annual victims of divorce, and may face an unknown fate due to the non-acceptance of society. for them.
The preferential policies applied in China’s urban areas to accept children’s enrollment in public schools impose several conditions that may seem insurmountable, perhaps the most prominent of which is that children of divorced women must prove that there is no custody of the child, i.e., that they have full custody. of the parents, as well as that the father and mother live together in the city for less than a year, with the necessary documents proving this, such as a house rental agreement or title deed, as well as a family book that shows the marital status of both parents.
Between two fires
Xiao Sun, a six-year-old boy, was forced to leave the capital Beijing in the middle of this year, because his estranged father could not enroll him in a primary school in the capital, due to difficulties in meeting his parents. applications for registration as the son of a divorced mother. His father sent him to his grandfather in his native village in Fujian Province (East) to study there.
The child’s grandfather, Joy Ming, told The New Arab: “For the past months, we tried to find a way for Sun to study in Beijing, but it was difficult because his parents don’t live together after they divorced two years ago, so he didn’t have an advantage in compared to other students who could fulfill all the conditions.
He adds: “We hid the real reason for his rejection from Sun for fear that it could harm him psychologically, and we enrolled him in a school in the village that does not provide the same high level of education compared to city schools, and now he is far from his father and mothers who work and live in another city. The truth is that we had to choose between two fires, one of which is that he remains under the care of his father and cannot join the school, or that he attends a rural school at the expense of being away from his parents. “
Regarding the cases of discrimination against the children of divorced women and the different view of society towards them that leads to their rejection, and to what extent this issue contradicts the prevailing social traditions in the country, the researcher of the “Khai Dian” Center for Social Studies, Lee Wan Zhou, he told The New Arab: “It is not limited to discrimination against the children of divorced women in the field of education, but includes broad social sectors that witness bad discriminatory practices and behaviors towards them, which accompany them. at different ages. Many Chinese families view the children of divorced women as the rotten fruit of a failed marriage, so some of them prevent their children from contacting them because of preconceived judgments that they are assumed to behave in barbaric and immoral ways, as they did they do not receive sufficient care and education.
He adds: “These children also suffer at an advanced age due to not being accepted as husbands, regardless of their success and material level, because some families refuse to marry their daughters to young men who do not belong to cohesive and harmonious families, and believe that the idea of divorce can inherited from father to son, the more likely the young man will repeat his father’s scenario in the future, and in this case the victim is their daughter.”
The right way
As for the implications and impact of this on the future generation of child-divorced women in light of reluctance to have children and record high divorce rates, Lee Wan says, “There is no doubt that the consequences of this are catastrophic. in light of record divorce rates and unprecedented rates of general reluctance to marry.” marriage. It may need to be overcome. These problems have existed for a long time, spanning decades, because it is not possible to change the ideas that people accept with a mere decision. Therefore, we must gradually work on correcting the path by changing people’s views first on the divorced woman, and then on her children, and the authorities must support this trend and not be part of the same behavior.The year that kills millions of children.
For his part, Li Wenjao, a professor of social sciences at Xiamen University, justifies, in his interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the preferential policies used in public schools in China that exclude the children of divorced women, saying that they “aim to regulate process of enrolling in schools, and preserving the rights of city children.” According to social security, it is therefore not directed against a specific social group.
He adds: “It is not logical to admit the children of migrant workers to the cities at the expense of children who were born and live there, just as the density of the number of students makes it difficult or even impossible to admit them all because the number of schools is not enough to admit all students.”
Official data shows that around 1.5 million students a year cannot enroll in schools due to the density of students in urban areas. On the other hand, there are fewer students attending rural schools due to the difference in the quality of education between the two regions.