Women's status rising slowly in China: activist
Observers warned that social status of Chinese women is improving "slowly," and called for greater participation of Chinese women in public life, ahead of the InternationalWomen's Day which falls on Wednesday.
Except for education, Chinese women's social status has seen little improvement in terms of health, income, employment and political participation in recent years, Feng Yuan, a women's rights advocate and co-founder of Equality, a non-governmental organization that focuses on gender issues, told the Global Times.
According to a white paper on Gender Equality and Women's Development in China issued by the State Council in 2015, female students in institutions of higher learning accounted for 52.1 percent of undergraduate students.
The biggest reason for the slow improvement in Chinese women's status is their reluctance to participate in politics, said Feng, explaining that it is the politicians that formulate policies to promote gender equality.
The ratio of female deputies of the National People's Congress reached 23.4 percent that year, or 699 out of a total of 2,987 lawmakers, the highest since the first National People's Congress in 1954, the Xinhua News Agency reported in 2013.
Among 396 members of provincial standing committees of the Communist Party Of China, only 34 are women.
A UN Economic and Social Council resolution in 1990 that is also acknowledged by China had recommended targets for increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions: 30 percent by 1995 and 50 percent by 2000.
Luo Ruixue, a member of the Women Awakening Network, a women's rights group, told the Global Times that the outmoded policies have led to gender discrimination in workplaces as well as income gap between male and female employees.
A survey of 128,576 people published Monday by zhaopin.com, one of the biggest job recruitment sites in China, found that over 80 percent of the Chinese women believe gender discrimination still exists in recruitment, adding that 44 percent of the women surveyed said they had never got promoted, China News Service reported.
Twenty- one percent of the female respondents said they believe people lack confidence in women's ability to assume leadership, making them insecure about becoming a leader, and the women who hold leadership positions face more challenges and have to make more efforts. Zhipin.com, another Chinese job recruitment site, published a report on Tuesday indicating that the average salary of Chinese women only accounts for 77 percent of that of their male colleagues.
A report on gender gap released by the World Economic Forum in 2016 showed that China ranked 99th among 144 countries. China's sex ratio at birth ranks at the bottom of the list.