The Xinjiang re-education camp in China injected Uighur women with drugs, causing them to go through menopause and sterilise. Recently, for the first time, someone came forward to confirm: "They keep injecting drugs into us." "After being injected with the drug, menstruation does not come. They have no right to choose from personal freedom to reproductive autonomy.
On 19 June 2019, the BBC went to the Thought Conversion Camp in Xinjiang, China. Recently, women released from the Thought Conversion Camp (Re-education Camp) alleged that they were injected with unknown drugs, leading to menopause and infertility.
According to The Independent, Uighur Muslim women were forced into re-education camps and subjected to ethnic and religious cleansing. According to the United Nations and human rights groups, more than 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic groups have been detained in China for no reason. The researchers say that "re-education camps" are almost identical to war camps, and that ideological reforms are being made to those detained for genocidal purposes.
"It's like we were just just piece of meat."
"We're like a piece of meat that's cut. 」
A woman named Gulbahar Jalilova, who had been held in a re-education camp for more than a year, told France 24 what had happened. In the re-education camp, a room of 10 x 20 feet (about 300 x 600 centimeters) is filled with about 50 people. The women were forced to extend their arms from the small openings on the door and ask the re-education camp's physicians to give them injections.
"They injected us from time to time.
"They kept injecting (drugs) into us. 」
"We soon realized tha wer injections tha we d't't get ours any more."
"We soon found out that after being injected, menstruation doesn't come. 」
These Uighur Muslim women, in addition to being detained in camps, have also been deprived of their fertility.
They have no right to choose from personal freedom to reproductive autonomy.
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When the womb becomes a political tool: You can't have your own womb
The uterus is a female-specific organ, but is sometimes forced to become a political tool or is controlled by those in power. When it comes to uterine and birth control, we must see how women's physical autonomy is exploited and oppressed.
Let us look to other countries and talk about "forced birth control" indirectly or directly.
According to the BBC, about half of women in the village of Vanjarwadi in India's Beed region have had a uterus removal operation, most of them under the age of 40. There, employers do not allow them to stop work because of their physical period, or they will have to pay fines that exceed their abilities.
As a result, the women removed the uterus without being told of the risks. At first glance, it seems that women make their own decisions, but it can be seen that the working environment and social atmosphere are unfriendly to women's bodies. (Extended reading: "No physical leave" Indian women forced to remove their uterus and take unknown drugs to continue working
And then look west. In 2017, the Trump administration reinstated the Global Abortion Ban, banning U.S. government funding for abortion groups, and banning international non-governmental organizations from providing abortion counseling for women if they were conceived as a result of rape, a serious violation of women's reproductive autonomy.
On May 14, 2019, Alabama passed the Abortion Prohibition Act, which states that medical personnel cannot perform abortions on pregnant women, regardless of whether a woman is an adult or raped, as long as she is pregnant for more than six weeks, unless her health is affected by the fetus. (Extended reading: Gender Newsletter, "Abortion after rape, 10 years in prison" New bill in alabama
In Taiwan, your uterus is still controlled by society.
Back in Taiwan, perhaps we won't be forced to inject drugs and not be asked by our employers to remove the uterus, but abortion-related laws are still restricted. Details can be found in the Eugenic health care act as follows.
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In addition to legal restrictions, women are also mentally oppressed by social and cultural oppression. To give a simple example: Lin Zhiling, who is newly married, is constantly being asked when she will have a baby, or Tsai Ing-wen has been given the say", "No next generation, no qualification for the next generation". If you're more likely to live, you'll often be at a party with friends and family, and you're hearing someone chasing a couple and asking, When are you going to get pregnant and have children?
Social atmosphere and culture, the control of women's bodies, abound.
The body is not only a receptor of social practice, but also an active person involved in social practice - the same body is both at the same time. The social practice of physical intervention forms the change of social structure and individual life trajectory, which in turn provides a new practical environment for the same body to continue to intervene to cope.
- Raewyn Connell, Gender World View
Back to the gender violence faced by women in Xinjiang, we can think simultaneously about the situation of women's bodies in Taiwan today. Gender-based violence is not far from the sky.
At the end of the 20th century, with the first pill on the market, women were finally able to put aside some of their pregnancy concerns. Today, we also look forward to giving women the physical autonomy they deserve, from the legal system to the socio-cultural system, including deciding whether to have children.