Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in China

My issue is "Women's Rights and Gender Equality in China." This is a big issue facing China today, and I feel it mostly builds off of Confucianist beliefs. This is because many people are trying to make life better for themselves, and are going to large measures to do so. I feel the fighting back contradicts Taoism because it involves many people having to break from standing by as injustices are occurring throughout China. I also feel it goes against Legalism because many people have gone against their leaders in order to fight for equality.

Women used to work and be treated as equals to men, but after China veered away from Communist ideas and towards more Capitalist ones, gender equality hasn't been such a given (Wall). Although fighting for gender equality is absolutely necessary in China, fortunately some people of power are still fighting with the cause. The Communist Party of China is making plans to reform the All-China Women's Federation by bringing Communist ideas and ultimately gender equality back to China. One way the CPC, as they are commonly known, is fighting for equality is trying to get more women in certain career areas, mainly government (Xinhua News Agency). One big issue relating to gender equality is jobs. Job recruitment is very strict and specific in China, with numerous requirements often put in place, and generally does not favor women, creating a harsh and undemocratic workspace for many. Occasionally, someone who disagrees with this and other types of discrimination will go to court. Legal fees are significant, and even winning the case would only win 2,000 yuan, which is equivalent to about $250. This is far less than the legal fees which precede the court trial, which is strongly discouraging to people that may have otherwise gone to court later on (Yiying). This sounds slightly like a discouragement by devout Taoists, trying to get people who have been discriminated against not to go further in pursuing justice. Today, this problem is still a big one, affecting many, but fortunately more and more feminists are starting to voice their opinions. Just this past month, numerous Chinese feminists decided to protest for feminism at the Women's March despite not being allowed to in China. This is a huge step, as in China, simply standing up for beliefs that contradict the government's can earn severe consequences (Wall). This sounds a lot like Legalism to me, as it shows that the government of China will go to great lengths just to put fear in their people's eyes if anyone tries to fight back against them. Though gender equality is very much a struggle, China's president sided with feminism, which projects a bright future for equality in China. "As the Chinese people pursue a happy life, every Chinese woman has the opportunity to excel in life and make her dreams come true," President Xi Jinping said last year at the Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. He vowed to give more play to women's important role in holding up "half the sky" (Xinhua News Agency).

After researching this topic, I have some questions. Why would a country not update its anti-discrimination laws if they proved unsuccessful? China does have anti-descrimination laws, but they are not very substantial so they are taken more as suggestions than actual laws (Yiying). If the government put more time and care into fighting for equality, less and less outrage would occur, which would also mean less bad press for them so I don't really understand why this isn't taken more seriously by the government. Also, why do jobs discriminate against women when hiring and also giving pay checks? Obviously, employees should be hired based on ability and credibility, rather than gender and I just don't understand how some people in China and other countries can't see that. Finally, I wonder how long it will take for gender inequality and discrimination to sound ridiculous and become part of history books rather than a reality that many people live in every day. Gender equality and women's rights are a huge issue in China and in other places as it affects many people every day and can be easily prevented. As the Maoist slogan states; "Women hold up half the sky," and I think more people should realize this.

Credits:

Created with images by myeviajes - "china asia culture" • 3dman_eu - "red flag socialism" • bones64 - "women's march sign child"

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