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In China, Teresa Xu Was Not Allowed To Freeze Her Eggs Because She’s Single. Men Can Freeze Their Sperm. Teresa Is Changing That

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I will admit, and not just for the sake of this article, that if there is one TV show that I owe a lot of my growing up to, it has to be the famous television series – Sex And The City. A single woman’s guide not just through New York, but also through life, that show has had some of the most important and meaningful lessons and they’ve left quite an impact on my mind. Especially since it wasn’t just about sex or the city, but about the common woman woes, and how sometimes all it takes to resolve them is a strong will and the awareness that we are anything but weak.

And that power that we saw Carrie Bradshaw hold, I could see oozing out of Teresa Xu, a single woman from Beijing, China, who recently decided to take a landmark stand against the misogynist mindset of China that has suppressed women’s rights in the name of protecting their culture. The rights we are talking about here are the reproductive rights, or lack there of, according to which single women aren’t allowed to freeze their eggs for future use.

32-year-old Teresa had a simple wish and that was to be able to freeze her eggs, until she comes across the right partner with whom she could consider starting a life with. But when she was not allowed to do so at the Beijing Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital, that is when Teresa decided to not  let her relationship status decide whether or not she could have kids. Especially since the single men were still allowed to freeze their sperm.

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Talking about what led her to speak up against the discrimination and take the matter to court, she shared, “I went to hospital to get some medical advice, but I was advised by a doctor to get married and have kids early, I already have so much pressure from this society. I am here representing the many Chinese women [who want change].”

Highlighting a lot of pertaining issues like that of sexism, societal pressure for women to get married and have kids by their late 20s, and the struggles an independent single woman faces while leading a life in China, Teresa Xu went to court to overturn these gender biases. And her one step has been enough in starting a powerful dialogue already. She also said, “Women at a similar age as me are facing tremendous pressure — from their jobs, to get married and have children. If egg freezing were available to us at a reasonable price, those women would have more choices in their lives.”

Supporting her views has been Peng Jing, a female lawyer who too presented amendments to the existing reproductive restrictions and laws while proposing that unmarried women get access to assisted reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilisation and egg freezing. A lot of concerns were raised, from questions about how well a single woman could up bring a child to whether the women would look at this as a business, but these women weren’t going to back down.

Not succumbing to the age old and patriarchal mindset of the society, women like Xu are enough to at least start the talk of change, if not really bring it about, and we believe that in itself is a huge step into the direction of women power and equality.

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