Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Women without power in China

Under Mao Zedong, especially during the Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party loudly proclaimed gender equality. While some women achieved positions of power, they were rare exceptions. Since the Cultural Revolution, the power positions of women have become more rare.

As China Prepares for New Top Leaders, Women Are Still Shut Out
China’s Communist Party leaders will gather this fall for a closely watched congress to decide who will take the party into its eighth decade of power. Yet for all the speculation about who will emerge at the top of the ruling party, one result seems certain: Few, if any, will be women.

Not once since the Communists came to power in 1949 has a woman sat on the party’s highest body, the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee… The 25-member Politburo has just two women…

Despite China’s constitutional commitments to gender equality, discrimination remains widespread, academics and feminists say…

Mandatory early retirement for women doesn’t help. Women must retire up to 10 years earlier than men, on the assumption that they are the primary caregivers for grandchildren and elderly relatives…

[T]he percentage of women among full members of the party’s Central Committee has declined in recent years, from 6.4 percent in 2012 before the last party congress to 4.9 percent today.

The figures signal that China is out of step with global trends. According to U.N. Women, more than twice as many women lead a country today than about a decade ago, though the number is still low at 17…

The road to power, controlled by the Communist Party, is more difficult for women on an even more fundamental level, statistics suggest. Only 25.1 percent of China’s 88 million party members are female, according to the latest figures, from 2015…

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