China's Employment Laws and Their Impact on Women Working in China
UC Davis Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 23, Forthcoming
37 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 3, 2017
Since before and after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Chinese women have been discriminated against, despite the emphasis on women’s equality fostered by Mao Zedong during the reform era from 1949 to 1976. Mao fostered this equality by encouraging women to work. During Deng Xiaoping’s era of market reform economy, which started in 1979 with the opening up of China by the legalization of foreign joint ventures, many women in China became entrepreneurs and professionals. Reforms and the enactment of protective employment discrimination laws under Deng Xiaoping actually caused women to lose their jobs more quickly than men and to move women farther away from the equality promised by the 1954 and the 1982 Constitutions, especially in the area of labor. This article will provide background information on the history and development of employment discrimination against women in China since Confucius to the present; the impact of domestic and international laws on gender-based employment discrimination in China; the role that culture and tradition play in fostering discrimination against women in society and in the workplace; and proposals for changes that might aid in the elimination of multiple discrimination against women in the workplace in China.
Keywords: Women, Employment, Working, China, Equality, Gender, Discrimination
JEL Classification: E24, J7, J16, J71, K31, N35, N45
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