Uyghur Women in China’s Genocide

Rukiye Turdush and Magnus Fiskesjö, “Uyghur Women in China’s GenocideGenocide Studies and Prevention, 28 May 2021.


This 2021 article published in Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal focuses on China’s implementation of genocidal policies against Uyghur women, including the forced prescription of birth control medication and inserting IUDs; and state-sponsored interracial marriages between almost exclusively Han Chinese men and Uyghur women. The article corroborates such allegations through human testimonies. Towards the end, the article traces the origins of China’s genocidal policies, looking at the country’s colonization of East Turkistan and other regions post-1949 and how the ancient Chinese idea of punishment is applied to Uyghur women as an instrument of genocide.


The aim of genocide is to intentionally destroy a group, in whole or in part, targeting the group as a race, ethnicity, religion, and/or culture, and not specifically in terms of gender. Like in many other cases, China’s genocide against the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims aims to destroy the group, in whole or in part. However, the genocide’s process and implementation are very different from other genocides. This article focuses on China’s implementation of genocidal policies against Uyghur women, which stands out in several respects. Analyzing gender-based cases of the Uyghur genocide is not intended simply to prioritize female victims over male victims. Rather, it is done to better understand China’s crimes, and create practical protocols to prevent genocide. Through an examination of first-hand victim interviews, reports, 1 Chinese state media and western media, and probing Chinese philosophy as a source of the ideology behind the genocide, the authors focus specifically on Uyghur women in order to discuss the following questions: How do gendered policies targeting Uyghur women expose the Chinese government’s genocidal intention in East Turkistan? As a root cause of this genocide, how is Chinese colonialism reflected in the policies implemented against Uyghur women and, particularly in the implementation processes that use the tools of punishment borrowed from Legalism?

Keywords: Gender Violence, Settler Colonialism, Genocide