Gender Equality and Women's Development in China

The state ensures equal employment right for women. Employment has a vital bearing on people's quality of life. The state has promulgated and improved laws and regulations to promote fair employment and eliminate gender discrimination in employment. The Employment Promotion Law of the People' s Republic of China has a chapter specially dealing with fair employment, emphasizing gender equality in employment right. The Labor Contract Law of the People' s Republic of China has clear provisions under which businesses are required to create collective contracts for protecting female workers' rights and interests, providing a legal basis for protecting the legitimate rights and interests of female workers. To create favorable conditions for women' s employment and career development, the state has also developed, amended and implemented the Special Regulations on Labor Protection of Female Employees, along with policies that enable women in positions as middle-ranking officials, senior professionals and technicians at state organs and public institutions to retire at the same age as their male counterparts, and policies to facilitate the growth of female scientists and promote equal employment opportunities for female college graduates.

The state helps women who are seeking employment and starting businesses. The state has introduced supportive policies and measures to address the difficulties of women in seeking employment and starting businesses. To engage women in employment and entrepreneurship, the state has introduced the small-sum guaranteed loan with financial discount. Since 2009, a total of 222.06 billion yuan has been issued in small discount loans to women, helping millions of women with their new businesses and careers. The state vigorously promotes the development of housekeeping services in urban areas and handicrafts, such as weaving and knitting, in rural areas, in order that women in cities and countryside can find employment locally and close to their homes, and also to promote employment transfer. It supports female college graduates in seeking employment and starting businesses, providing training in employment, guidance in starting businesses and internship opportunities, and it has implemented the Sunshine Project, improving the quality and skills of the rural female workforce and creating conditions to promote the transfer of rural female workforce to non-agricultural sectors and urban areas. There are now more than 200,000 training schools for women nationwide, providing training sessions to a total of nearly 200 million women in new agricultural technologies and new crop species. A total of 1.5 million women have obtained titles and qualifications as agricultural technicians, and 53,000 women' s professional cooperatives have been founded. Following the launch of an employment promotion project for the disabled in urban areas in 2011, about 100,000 disabled women have joined the workforce each year.

The state improves the employment structure for women. In 2013, the total number of women employed nationwide was 346.4 million, accounting for 45 percent of the total employed population. The latest survey of the social status of Chinese women shows that women in secondary and tertiary industries grew by 25 percentage points in comparison with 10 years ago, and that female heads of various departments, professional and technical personnel, and clerical and related personnel increased by 13 percentage points. In 2013, the number of middle-ranking and senior female professional and technical personnel reached 6.61 million, or 44.1 percent of the total in this category, an increase of 9 percentage points from that of 2000. The number of female entrepreneurs keeps growing, now accounting for one quarter of the total number of entrepreneurs in China. The government has initiated an action plan to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among women, encouraging women to seek employment in emerging industries. About 55 percent of new Internet businesses are being founded by women.

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  Source: ACFTU  2015-10-22

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