China is home to some of the most hardworking and intelligent women in the world – that is a fact. To back up this claim with statistics, a report has demonstrated that, after the United States of America and Canada in the top spot, China has the second-most number of female CEOs at 2.5%. According to the same report, “half of the world’s self-made female billionaires are from China.” Nevertheless, many of them still need to get therapy online or offline to be able to deal with the stress that society puts on them.
In a patriarchal nation, after all, women hardly get praised for their achievements. More often than not, they get comments along the lines of “You are weak,” “You do not belong in the corporate world,” or “You are better off of giving birth.” Derogatory much? Can’t a woman excel not just in the family but the business life as well?
The hotter issue concerning the Chinese women in China is the partnership that the Chinese government co-hosted the “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action” with the United Nations in 2015. This summit focused on lifting and evaporating the gender barriers that are less favorable to women in terms of legislation, job, and social norms.
As it sounds very promising, one will want to hope that all the women around the globe can no longer experience discrimination just because of their gender. It seems natural to dream as well every woman can become seen as men’s equal, not only their support system. However, the fact that five Chinese female activists had been put in jail in the same year because they chose to let the public hears their sentiments about the gender discrimination was, to say the least, ruining the moment.
A few years after the summit, can we genuinely expect equality towards women sooner than later? It will be wrong to make assumptions or conclusions at the moment, but we sure can hope the following topics can be more than touched – groped, I think, is the more appropriate word – in the next global meetings.
For centuries, everyone knows how much valuable men seem to be in China compared to women. The discrimination that the latter experience in the country starts way back when their parents have found out through ultrasound that they are indeed having a bouncing baby girl, and not an adorable baby boy, which is what most Chinese families want to have. When they realize it is not a male fetus, most parents decide to have an abortion and hope that the next time they get pregnant, it is already a boy. If the pregnancy is too far along to become terminated, they let it come to full term, but they either leave it somewhere like a stray cat or treat it very poorly.
What is up with that? Given the idea that no baby can be born without the sperm cells of a man, no baby can also get created without the egg cells of a woman. Thus, men and women should get ranked in the same way. China has banned the usage of ultrasound machines so that there will be no more discriminatory abortions that can happen in the country, but the focus should be more on prohibit the process of abortion altogether instead.
There are many successful “leftover” Chinese women, and only a few of them wish to get married someday. Some say it is because they do not want to be tied down to the small task of taking care of babies and not have the time to build their entrepreneurial career. Others refuse because they do not want to meet the same fate as their other married friends who get mattered physically, emotionally and mentally.
According to the report made by the United Nations in 2013, more than 50% of the Chinese men have disclosed that they have assaulted their wife in one way or another. It was after the publicized divorce lawsuit filed by a woman against her well-known husband that China had a law passed to protect women from domestic violence.
Work discrimination is another touchy topic. There are a lot of job opportunities in China because of the enormous factories there for cars, noodles, toys, and many other products that get sold across the globe. However, only a portion of these factories has room for women. It is as if they always hang this ‘Job Vacancy’ sign in front of the gates, but as soon as a woman comes by with a biodata on hand, they flip the sign to ‘No Vacancy.’ The justice in such a case is nowhere to be found, that is for sure.
China is a very productive country. It is home to a lot of hardworking people, even though it is only beginning to accept that its women can be as good as its men, or maybe even better. Nevertheless, the gender issue in China is apparent in a lot of countries as well. We can only wish that more global summits will lead to the creation of laws that will bring equality to everyone.