By Yew Lun Tian
BEIJING (Reuters) – China will give pregnant women the right to choose Caesareans for their babies even if their husbands disagree, state media reported on Tuesday, one of the latest measures to safeguard women’s rights in a society in which women traditions can play a strong role.
The Parliament’s standing committee, which is China’s main law-making body, is meeting this week to debate bills, including a draft amendment to the Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests, passed in 1992.
He Yiting, parliamentary authority on social affairs, said that while the law has been in effect for years, some old problems have not been resolved and others have emerged as society and the economy have progressed, reported the Beijing News.
Currently, hospitals can only allow pregnant women to have C-sections if their husbands allow it.
By law, women should enjoy equal rights, but in reality their options and decisions about getting married, having children or pursuing a career are often limited by pressure from family members or authorities.
For decades, China has imposed a strict one-child policy to curb population growth.
Some Chinese families believe that C-sections can harm the baby and that the mother will take longer to recover from the birth, which can delay the time before she is ready to have another baby.
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