A little prince. (Photo/Xinhua)
A woman from Wenzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province tried to kill her baby daughter after her husband and family chastised her for failing to bear a son, Taiwan's Central News Agency reports.
Producing a male heir to carry on a family's ancestral line is a longstanding tradition in Chinese culture. Many women struggle with feelings of guilt and face displeasure from their husbands or families when they give birth to girls.
The woman, surnamed Dan, gave birth to a daughter last year and has since had repeated fights with her husband over her perceived failure. Dan was diagnosed with postpartum depression.
In August the arguments intensified as Dan expressed a wish to return to work. Her husband reportedly objected and slapped her in the face, telling his wife that her duty was to stay at home and care for their daughter. Dan says this is when she began entertaining thoughts of killing her child.
On Sept. 22 Dan made a failed attempt, thwarted only by an impromptu visit from her father-in-law. She tried again the following day while her daughter was sleeping, attempting to asphyxiate her with a pillow cover. When the child stopped moving she believed she has succeeded. She then made a telephone call to her husband to apologize, imploring him to find another wife but not telling him what she had done, saying only that she would be going to prison.
The child had not died, however, and was later taken to hospital. Legal proceedings have begun against the mother.