China: Women's Rights & Gender Equality By fahmid alam

A picture of the "We Can Do It" girl, but a version drawn by China to indicate the strengthening of women's rights in that country specifically.

To understand this issue, what needs to be understood first is that feminism is about gender equality and the idea that women should have the same rights as men. It is not at all meaning to say that women should be more powerful than men. For centuries and centuries, and even as far back as history can yield information from, women have not had as many privileges as men have had. Sometimes, the issue gets so bad that it can result in violence and rape simply due to the mindset that women are inferior. The complex question states, "How is China ahead of other countries with women's rights and gender equality?" China is proving themselves to be devoted towards this issue and protecting the vulnerabilities and rights of women, and one example of this is that “Over the past two decades, more than 20 laws and regulations have been enacted and revised, according to the Gender Equality and Women's Development in China published by the State Council Information Office.” (Xinhua News Agency, 1)

Indicates the roles of women in Ancient China.

However, to begin with, China had not always been advancing towards women's rights and gender equality. In Ancient China, women were considered to be of less than that of men. They would have to go by cultural positions which included granting all of their father's wishes, obeying their husbands until death, and listening to the demands of their sons. Part of this indicates Confucian influence, as Confucianism's ideology restricted females to a badly oppressed social status. They were at the bottom of the Confucian hierarchy. Mindsets have become more liberal for the most part in today. For example, a businessman from Beijing named Wan says: "I have a son and daughter. I have set the same expectations for them."

As mentioned before in the introduction, China's State Council Information Office has put more than twenty laws into place. A few of these many laws include the law of free marriage, the law of family planning, law of equal job promotions, law of social insurance, law of protection of women's rights and interests, and the law of special regulations in female labor/work. China has strengthened their organizations which are dedicated towards human resources services. This has been major help towards dealing with crimes which violate the law of interests of female employees, and the law of job protection. Additionally, judicial action is advised for situations where there is domestic violence that has been taken too far. Family courts have been added to fix marriage cases and family disputes. Also, public security organs have put a stop to crimes against women such as the uncovered 25,000 cases of rape and 4,500 cases of women abductions and trafficking in 2013.

Now that it is known how and why China is ahead of other countries when it comes to women's rights, another concept which could be researched is why old beliefs in rural China continue to interfere with gender equality. For example, there is a persistent belief that boys are much more valuable than girls. A lot of this has to do with education, but there should not be and superiorities nor inferiorities given that education values are just as scarce for both genders. This issue is important to research because it really takes time to change someone's perception on something, and because of that this may prove to be a challenge if it is not understood, evaluated, and eventually fixed.


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