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Gender Equality and China's Economy

Popularity 15Viewed 9610 times 2015-3-28 05:36 |System category:Economy| China, economy, gender, equality, female


In China, it is often said that women hold up half the sky.


"China has a strong record of encouraging female entrepreneurship, and many of its most accomplished business leaders are women," said Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, in a speech given at Fudan University in Shanghai. "Overall, women account for 45 percent of China’s labor force, on par with most advanced economies. But women make up only 25 percent of people in “positions of responsibility,” according to census figures. This suggests that women are still facing some constraints, particularly in rural areas. Addressing these obstacles will be good for women and men – and good for China. IMF studies have shown that greater gender equity leads to higher, more sustainable growth. Here in China, it is often said that “women hold up half the sky”. Your generation will ensure that women also hold up half the economy."



Numerous studies have shown that higher education greatly reduces the wage gap in earnings between men and women. The Washington Post reports that "for people with a college degree, there is virtually no pay gap [99.3%]."  With more women currently attending universities than men, as reported by the OECD earlier this month, we can expect a greater share of women in the labor force and greater gender pay equity in professional occupations.


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Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2015-3-28 19:37
I am so happy to see "for people with a college degree, there is virtually no pay gap [99.3%]."  Education is the way to go.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-3-29 16:33
gender equality is not just about the women getting paid the same, it's also about how over 90% of business owners and CEO's etc are still men. You are talking about tertiary enrolments but you miss the wider issue and take light of the problem by saying it is becoming better.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-3-30 10:30
I also forgot to add, it is still a good blog. Even if I disagree    well written. Just differing opinions.
Reply Report voice_cd 2015-3-30 10:52
Thanks for sharing your opinion here. We have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report Newtown 2015-3-31 23:22
Chairman Mao wanted Chinese women to hold up half of the sky but apart from his rather infamous wives there have been few women in China in positions of significant power in the government. There was one "iron lady" minister a few years ago but she seemed to disappear off the map, and the regular rollcall of top top ( as the Chinese say ) government executives consists of middle aged men, often graduates from a Beijing university. There may be several spokeswomen for various government departments when media pronouncements are called for, but other females may be presented in front of the cameras only for their decorative appeal.  Thus, Chinese women may one day hold up half of the economy but the prospect of them holding up even a minor platform of important governmental positions is on a far distant horizon.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-4-1 10:03
Newtown: Chairman Mao wanted Chinese women to hold up half of the sky but apart from his rather infamous wives there have been few women in China in positions  ...
I agree, positions need to be addressed also, women need an opportunity to elevate their position within Chinese society, especially at a governmental level.
Reply Report Newtown 2015-4-1 19:31
"I agree, positions need to be addressed also..."

Including the missionary position and several others.
Reply Report NinjaEconomics 2015-4-2 04:31
seanboyce88:you miss the wider issue and take light of the problem by saying it is becoming better...
What's the "wider issue" that you think I'm missing when I say that the majority of university students are now women? Are you arguing that gender equality will NOT be improved through greater access to education?

If education were so irrelevant to female progress and empowerment, Pakistani schoolgirls wouldn't get shot in the head simply for advocating for their own education.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-4-2 12:40
NinjaEconomics: What's the "wider issue" that you think I'm missing when I say that the majority of university students are now women? Are you arguing that  ...
I know you got your facts from the washington post, I would be interested to see their sample size. From research within academic articles, this does not seem to reflect similar results.  Position in the company is also a major issue. Management positions are still dominated by men.

My point is that, although this is still good that women are a majority of university students in the world, the problem of gender inequality in the workplace is far from gone. This is the wider issue.

I was not arguing that gender equality will NOT be improved through greater access to education. Not at all, but it is one step in a series of steps towards gender equality. You said it yourself here
"Overall, women account for 45 percent of China’s labor force, on par with most advanced economies. But women make up only 25 percent of people in “positions of responsibility,”

you start with this then lead onto access for education. They are 2 issues within the wider gender equality problem. My only issue was you ended it with what sounded like positive expectations "we can expect a greater share of women in the labour force and greater gender pay equity in professional occupations." yet didn't mention about how we could get women into positions of power. For this, we still to shift the patriarchal hegemony to a more egalitarian society. Greater women within the labour force can still mean more exploitation by those from above. Unless the issue of position is redressed then this may just further entrench male dominance, taking us a step away from equality.

I am not saying you are wrong, just suggesting that you have only taken a shallow look at the issue with this article. The issue is  more compounded than this.
Reply Report vf84tcat 2015-4-2 22:49
NinjaEconomics: What's the "wider issue" that you think I'm missing when I say that the majority of university students are now women? Are you arguing that  ...
Gender discrimination is rampant in China.

For all the hype of China promoting itself as an egalitarian society where males and females are treated with equal respect it becomes instantly clear this is false when one first enters China via a security checkpoint. There mostly females search the bodies of not only women but men and boys too. Males are never permitted to search females not even with just a hand-held-metal detector.

Why is this so? It is because China makes government policy on the assumptions that:
1.) ALL males are untrustworthy around females
2.) ALL males have little concern for dignity so they won't mind a female searching their body

The governing Communist Party of China (CPC) continues this gender-discrimination ethos in public toilet facilities. There female cleaners are allowed to walk into Male toilet facilities while the males are using them but male cleaners are strictly forbidden to enter Female toilets even though the women are  locked in a cubicle. Again this is because of the CPC assumptions:
1.) ALL males are untrustworthy around females
2.) ALL males have little concern for dignity

Some would argue males prefer this policy because it gives them a more natural, sexual feeling than if a male searched them. If these activities are sexual that would make perfect sense but physical security and cleaning toilets has no connection to sex. For China to make policy the way it has strongly implies the egalitarian approach takes a back-seat to sexual considerations. Most nations of the world avoid this by simply restricting females to searching only females and males searching only males or have both genders search each other.

I have traveled the world for decades; Outside the Middle East I have never encountered a country practicing gender-discrimination so blatant as the Peoples Republic of China. China has a long way to go before it can declare itself free of gender discrimination.
Reply Report vf84tcat 2015-4-2 23:02
I agree with maintaining the dignity and respect of ALL men and women. I am an American citizen. At the Beijing airport recently my belt buckle set off the alarm as I was going through the metal detector. A female security person motioned me to lift my arms then proceeded to put her hands on my body for a pat-down. In Western culture this is against the law and violates norms of decency and human dignity, only same-gender pat-downs are allowed. I complained to the security head who was a woman that this practice was highly offensive to many males just like it would be offensive to her if she was pat-down by a male.  She advised in China women can pat-down men but men cannot pat-down women. I told her that was a sexist double-standard and was offensive and disrespectful to men essentially stating all men could not be trusted to be professional. She was very explicit in saying women can be trusted to be professional about doing a security pat-down but men cannot. I advised her if she felt that way then Chinese male security screeners needed to be retrained to bring them up to the same level of professionalism. I further advised her to just avoid that difficulty by simply using sensibility and have women pat-down only women and men pat-down only men.

There is NEVER any GOOD reason to treat one gender with less respect than the other ever.

It is shameful for a government to make a policy that effectively says all males are untrustworthy and undignified therefore they can be treated the same as farm animals. Without question there are men like that but also without question there are far more men who are respectful gentlemen and do not wish or deserve to be grouped with those kinds of men. Just as most women are not prostitutes it would be shameful for a country to make a policy on the assumption all were.

China uses females to search both genders in a morally-cheap way to reduce costs. Thus they don’t have to pay the extra cost of having both female and male security. Additionally they pay females less than males. They are banking on getting away with exploiting male’s desire to appear “macho” rather than taking the moral high ground and insuring only Ladies search Ladies and Gentlemen search Gentlemen.  That is a shameful weakness of moral responsibility on the part of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

There is NEVER any GOOD reason to treat one gender with less respect than the other ever.

If they want to claim males are being searched “mostly” with the Hand-held-metal-detector (HHMD) which doesn’t touch his body then fine also let men search women with the Hand-held-metal-detector which does not touch her body either. This way there is no gender-discrimination both genders are treated with exactly the same dignity and respect or lack of it. But China doesn't do that it insists there's nothing wrong with a female searching a male but it would be a grave violation if a male searched the female the very same way with the "harmless" hand-held-metal detector. That again says China considers males to have no dignity; extremely disrespectful for a country to make such a policy rather than standup to the moral high road and treat all people with the same respect irrespective of their gender.

Just as males and females use different toilets because of body privacy security searches of a person’s body by a stranger should only be done by the same gender. Men (or women) who want to be searched by the opposite sex should be required to ask for it not the other way around. The great majority of the world understands this only China and a few East Asian countries don’t.

I travel the world frequently and this is the norm in the civilized world. South Korea also had this same disrespectful practice for males in security pat-downs but finally realized the discrimination of it and abolished the practice.

If China wants to truly evolve into a first-world country it needs to adopt the same standards of dignity and respect for men and women found in the great majority of the world’s countries.

Check out the vids and pics on Pages: 170, 171,172, 186 and 294 of this thread.

Women constantly search men's bodies in China see for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-zoLiKN3pQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpYPKnI61Lg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB_CGGIvNRQ


Women routinely walk right into men's toilets while the men are standing out in the open using the urinals. If men walked into women's toilets even though the women are in the privacy of a stall with the door locked the men would be arrested.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=china+female+cleaners+in+mens+room&go&qs=n&form=QBVR&pq=china+female+cleaners+in+mens+room&sc=0-15&sp=-1&sk#view=detail&mid=193139867F1FC3A2C983193139867F1FC3A2C983

http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608030222574881183&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0


http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=women+cleaners+in+mens+toilet+china&FORM=HDRSC3#view=detail&mid=6D36477CEBACB1BC29C96D36477CEBACB1BC29C9


There is NEVER any GOOD reason to treat one gender with less respect than the other ever.

If you are a male or female who believes in treating ALL PEOPLE with the SAME, EQUAL dignified, respectful, same-gender security searches send an email to the:

Customer Complaint department: Service@bcia.com.cn
Beijing Capitol International Airport

SHARE THIS POST IF YOU CARE ABOUT CHINA

Eventually this practice is going to stop and China will take it's rightful place as a great and respectful nation.
Reply Report vf84tcat 2015-4-3 05:56
If China actually became the egalitarian society it claims to be then 50% of the dormant female workforce could become doctors thus enabling  humanity to defeat cancer that much sooner. Silly ego-driven male chauvinistic nonsense has got to go
Reply Report TedM 2015-4-3 09:14
Just before reading this excellent article, I read and commented about the idea of making women only parking spaces available. I also read recently about women only railway carriages.  Equality, fairness, mutual respect ...... I am confused.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-4-3 09:58
TedM: Just before reading this excellent article, I read and commented about the idea of making women only parking spaces available. I also read recently ab ...
The equality argument is very confusing, even the concept of feminism itself comes in many forms, from parts third wave feminism which certain aspects promoted inequality, to radical feminism which was more about creating a matriarchal society to create the current patriarchal one.

Such ideas as women only carriages I personally disagree with as it creates the assumption that all men are racists until proven otherwise. Such thinking could prove to have a bad effect on the thoughts of our society, it may even serve to promote rape as some men try to reassert their dominance over women...if it's equality you want, it's equality across the board. No assuming women are inferior and no assuming men are racists.
Reply Report TedM 2015-4-3 10:20
We agree. Equality and no segregation, but with severe penalties for those few racists and perverts who abuse other people's rights.
Reply Report Funny-boy 2015-4-6 22:34
Totally agree. The female will hold up half the economy.
Reply Report NinjaEconomics 2015-4-7 03:19
seanboyce88: you have only taken a shallow look at the issue with this article ...
It's not an"article." I was giving context for a tweet. Of course, a blog post that takes two minutes to read will be "shallow."
Reply Report NinjaEconomics 2015-4-7 03:27
seanboyce88: I know you got your facts from the washington post, I would be interested to see their sample size. From research within academic articles, this does  ...
No, I got my facts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which you would have realized if you had clicked either of the two links I included.

If you are truly "interested to see their sample size", try reading the article from the Washington Post before commenting. You'd see that they cite academic research.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-4-7 08:53
NinjaEconomics: No, I got my facts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which you would have realized if you had clicke ...
Ok, apologies but when clicking the link, it doesn't go through to the site on my university wifi here in China, so that was literally impossible for me. It just loads for hours...So I was "truly interested" but I couldn't go there, I also can't see your twitter either since my VPN went down.

Rather than being condescending, could you not be a little more polite on here? With someone with such a high education you don't react well to criticism. I even commented on this being a good blog and not saying you were wrong.

You first create strawman arguments by saying: "Are you arguing that gender equality will NOT be improved through greater access to education?"which I did not suggest at all then you seem to forget that for many in China, especially myself in Harbin where the internet is awful at best, looking at your links isn't an easy task.

I just thought it was shallow, that was all. And yes, maybe because it was about a twitter article it was, not your fault. But then, rather than using rhetoric like "which you would have realized if you had clicked either of the two links I included." you could have been less patronizing and more polite, there is no need for that. It was hardly nasty criticism I was giving you, more constructive criticism in order to start a discussion.
Reply Report NinjaEconomics 2015-4-7 12:24
seanboyce88: Ok, apologies but when clicking the link, it doesn't go through to the site on my university wifi here in China, so that was literally impossible for  ...
You're right that many readers have trouble accessing other sites (some may not have VPNs and even for those who do, it may be frustratingly slow).  In the future, I'll take greater care to directly embed tweets or specific references.

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Social Policy (Columbia University) | Quantitative Analysis (Harvard University) | Economic Theory (College de France) | Follow me on Twitter @NinjaEconomics

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