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For China’s Single Mothers, a Road to Recognition Paved With False Starts


For a few glorious weeks, Zou Xiaoqi, a single mother in Shanghai, felt accepted by her government.After giving birth in 2017, Ms. Zou, a financial worker, went to court to challenge Shanghai’s policy of giving maternity benefits to married women only. She had little success, losing a lawsuit and two appeals. Then, earlier this year, the city suddenly dropped its marriage requirement. In March, a jubilant Ms. Zou received a benefits check in her bank account.She had barely begun celebrating when the government reinstated the policy just weeks later. Unmarried women were once again ineligible to receive government …

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