China has failed its women as they face acute discrimination

China has failed its women

As China plummets in gender equality rankings amid discrimination even after 70 years of Mao’s Revolution, the girl child has come to bear the brunt of the one-child policy of the government.

Owing to the policy, according to a report in Al Jazeera, the country is facing grave problems such as abortions based on sex which are often forced. This, on top of the dangerous population imbalance, which has resulted in a surplus of over 30 million men.

The report cited that gender equality had gone awry in Communist China even as women accounted for nearly 41% of the GDP of the country. For the fifth straight year, China plummeted in the World Economic Forum’s global gender gap index.

Ranked 57th out of 139 countries in 2008, China is now 103rd among 149 countries. In terms of “health and survival”, it ranked last.

So blatant is the discrimination against women that nearly one-fifth of the positions for national civil service jobs listed “male” as core requirement. This follows a trend in prestigious positions in other industries too, according to a 2018 Human Rights Watch report.

The report cited a study released by online recruiter Boss Zhipin. Chinese women earned 78.2 cents for every dollar paid to a man, a drop of nearly 9% from the year before.

Even the party is aware of this. According to an official party survey released in 2017, 54% of Chinese women reported discrimination in job interviews.

Online recruiter Zhilian Zhaopin found instances sex discrimination heightened for women in the age group of 25 and 35 as this is the most likely time to start a family.

This discrimination continues even when women get older. The mandated age of retirement for women in some industries is 50 years, which is 10 years earlier than for men, making any professional advance impossible.

According to Al Jazeera, the gender gap is most apparent in politics. The report said, “In 70 years, not one woman has ever been appointed to the country’s highest governing body, the Politburo Standing Committee. Among the wider 25-person Politburo, only one woman is included, and of 31 provincial-level governments, not one is led by a woman.”

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