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Chinese women's status
Generally speaking, Chinese women's political and social status has risen steadily over the decades, but they still face serious problems and obstacles.|
Compared to women's status in other aspects, their legal status is considered to be highest by the public. Gender equality is stipulated by the constitution as well as many fundamental Chinese laws, including the Marriage Law, the Law of Inheritance, the Civil Law, and the Criminal Law.
The presence of Chinese women in the political arena has become more common, there are quite a few female officials in the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities’ governments. The Chinese government has taken various measures on women’s education and medical welfare and made favorable policies to encourage women to open their own business.
As regarding their family status, in the home at least, Chinese urban women today enjoy greater equality than Chinese women of previous generations. Chinese women's family status is no longer determined by the family order of the patriarchal kinship system. Nevertheless, Chinese women’s family status cost them greatly both at home and in society.
It seems to me the younger the Chinese couples are the more equal Chinese women are in the family. The phenomenon is attributed to the dramatic cultural transformation of Chinese society.
However, conditions are very different between cities and rural areas. In some villages, people even don’t include girls and women as labourers, and when only women are available, both the village cadres and the women themselves would tell others that nobody at home. The contrast between city and the countryside is sharp. This is due to the economic structure, rural women are not as independent economically as urban women. and they have much less access to welfare benefits provided by the government and generally they have little education.
Rural women's family status is also negatively influenced by the fact that farming is the least rewarding job in China. Because of unfair terms of trade between industry and agriculture, the farmers are at a great disadvantage economically.
Other much more serious kinds of discrimination against women, which are determined largely by social norms, include the abandonment of female infants and the trafficking in women. These phenomena are all primarily rural.
Chinese women are still at a disadvantage in job application, salary and job promotion compared to men. Many Chinese women also work full time outside the family, yet they are less welcomed by employers and have less opportunity for promotion because of family-oriented stereotyping.
I recognize Chinese government has succeed in raising significantly women's political status and family status in cities , however China still has a long way to go to reach a real gender equality in all aspects.