Promoting gender equality in enterprises

The Human Development Report 2013 released by the United Nations shows that, China has a GII (Gender Inequality Index) value of 0.213, ranking it 35 out of 180-plus countries with comparable data in 2012, much higher than the HDI (Human Development Index) ranking of 101 in the same year. This achievement is mainly attributable to the narrowing gender gap in labor force participation, education and health care after more than 30 years of reform and opening-up. Meanwhile, China still has a long way to go to promote gender equality. Given a high sex ratio at birth and a large disparity in level of education, China is ranked 69th in the worldwide Gender Gap Index out of more than 130 countries, still lower than the rank of 2006.

The International Seminar on Trade Union’s Promotion of Gender Equality Index System in Enterprises co-sponsored by ACFTU and ILO was held in Beijing August 23, 2013. More than 30 specialists and representatives from ILO, UN Women, universities, research institutes, ACFTU and its affiliates in different sectors, regions and enterprises attended this seminar.

Currently, the research team of Industrial Relations Research Centre of China, an affiliate of ACFTU, is exploring an enterprise gender equality index system in China based on the realities of Chinese trade unions and enterprises, as well as methodologies of building relevant systems home and abroad. Brief analysis is given of major gender equality measurement index in the world, such as GDI, GEM, GII, GGGI and the measurement system of the World Bank. The team has put forward the major principles and basic framework of enterprise gender equality index system. The major principles include universality, feasibility and sustainability. The basic framework incorporates six dimensions: economy, politics, society, health, education and culture. Each dimension comprises a number of sub index and there are several core variables under each index.

ILO specialist Nelien Haspels summed up two major trends in gender equality. One is that the legal focus is shifting from protection of women to equality of genders. The other is that the practical operation is transferring from promoting an equal start or equal process to an equal outcome. She also brought up that an enterprise trade union needs to identify its own priorities and index.

Doctor Ma Lei of UN Women introduced main methodologies of gender measurement of international organizations, including HDI, GDI, GEM and MDG, and analyzed major enterprise gender equality criterion in the world. In the end, he proposed that enterprises should start promoting gender equality by distinguishing substantive equality from formal equality.

Professor Liu Bohong from the Institution of Women of All-China Federation of Women, discussed the similarities and differences of gender statistics and women statistics from a statistical point of view. She also made an analysis of china’s gender statistics in the aspects of population, marriage and family, time management, employment, income and social security, education, health, crime and judiciary, participation in policy-making and gender perception.

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  Source: ACFTU  2014-05-15

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