Two generations
  • Two generations

“For centuries in China, the birth of a daughter brought tears to a mother’s eyes, not tears of joy but of shame…”

As I was working on my documentary "Rise of the Phoenix" about the gender bias issues in China, it suddenly dawned on me that many countries are confronting the same issue: a women’s self-worth. In many countries, the cultural perception of the worth of a daughter is far less than a son — and the women themselves often accept that notion without questioning. Therefore a daughter may not ask why she is not sent to school for an education, but her brother is.

Case in point, many Chinese mothers aborted their baby fetus as soon as they knew it’s a girl because of the One Child Policy. By the same token, they abandoned their own daughters in orphanages because of social and familial pressures. This is played out in India, Africa, Middle East and other parts of the world — women are told that they are not worthy and are treated as second-class citizens.

As many women are empowered to do great things through education, Internet and personal striving, there is still a large left-behind contingency in rural villages and god-forsaken areas following the same tired traditions passed on through many generations. Gender awareness must be raised to tell women that their purposes are more than giving birth and raising families. Mothers should start telling their daughters they are worth the price of gold. Women should start telling themselves that they are worthy and can do anything a man can do. They should push back oppressive traditions that sentenced them to a life of servitude and silent suffering They should stop dependent on men for livelihood and stop perpetuating the same inflictions on their daughters under the guise of pragmatism and ignorance. More important, mothers should educate their sons to respect and treat women as equal — a concept not hard to get, but somehow got lost in the tangles of cultural baggage.

We all know a mother is the first and best teacher for her children, until she reaffirms her daughter’s worth and gives her the power to question and fight for her rights, then she can change her destiny. Let us help all mothers to be so.


Thank you so much for this article. I totally agree with you. There is still much to do to empower the grassroots/village girls and women. There is no female that feels the impact of the traditional belief that a woman is a property than a rural woman and girl. I will definitely join hands with you and those out there in support of women education and sensitization. Thank you for sharing this powerful voice, it touched my heart deeply. Kind regards,


I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

Thanks for sharing. As an aspiring shorts producer on young women empowerment in the light of sociocultural pressures...I applaud you for tackling this documentary and cannot wait to see the final product. I firmly believe that women are responsible for lifting one another up, speaking life into their hearts, and cheering them through the self-discovery process. We are all gifts to the world, sadly, way too many are unopened and the beautiful treasure within is never shared with the world.

Thank you

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Dear all, So glad the notion that all mothers are the best teachers and role models for their daughters. To know that one's "price tag" is not dependent on the evaluation of traditions, spouse and familial pragmatism is quite liberating and allows one to do great things. Self discovery comes from questioning, questioning, questioning --- something we all must teach our children to do. Thanks for your kind words.


Great post! Thanks for sharing. I could never understand why women are viewed as inferior to men. But it is a fact that many countries, even Western countries tend to favor female children to "carry" the family name. It's the degree of how females are treated that greatly differs like in China or India where they can resort to even killing unborn female children just to have a male child. It's a long road to achieving equality and empowering women but that will happen.


Hello Lylin, Thanks for your comment and kind words. I've been thinking hard on what we can do as a community to change that attitude — as women, mothers, aunts and wives...? Surely the gender bias issue is a universal issue. How can we educate women to change their perspective and attitudes? Maybe we can post a forum for solutions.

Warmly regards, may