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Discrimination and prejudices against Chinese women

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1922 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This paper will be focusing on the discrimination and prejudices again gender especially females in China. It will give readers details on how they are being treated and discriminated in the past as well as the present time. This paper will also cover solutions on how this problem could be reduced by cooperating with the government by educating the people throughout the country and make males and females to have equal rights.


According to Matt Rosenberg, 2010, the population of China is around 1.3 billion; this figure is based on the registered citizens that we know. Until now we are uncertain of the actual figure of China population as there are babies that are not registered yet with the government due to the one-child policy that China has. One-child policy (Matt Rosenberg, 2010) was created in the year 1979, to limit the growth of communist in China by ensuring every couple having one child only (Jeffery Hays, 2008).Females are being discriminated in traditionally Chinese culture as males are thought to be important because they will be looking after property; inherit land; and passing on the family name. But females have less benefit than males as they will be married off from the family. In China (Adam Brookes 2001), female babies are being discriminated even before they are being born. Researchers did an annual statistics report showing that a million of girl fetuses are being aborted, prior to that, tens of thousands of girl infants are being abandoned as well. From ancient practices (Eric Baculinao, 2004) , if a Chinese family without son will face poverty and neglect as Chinese believe that male offspring symbolize continuity of lineage and protection in old age! With advances in medical technology there was a widespread of cheap and portable ultra-sound scanner in the 1980’s, that allowed parents to choose their baby sex, this kind of practices are called pre-natal sex selection. If the parents discovered that their baby is a girl they will choose to abort it and try again for a boy.

Researched done by (Eric Baculinao, 2004) on “Missing Girls”, showing the trend of boys and girls being born from a Chinese-tank report. We can see huge significant difference in number of boys and girls being born in recent years. And by looking at the table we can see that parents prefer boys than girls.




Ratio ( Boys against Girls)

Early 80’s



1.09 : 1




1.11 : 1




1.16 : 1




1.2 : 1

(According to a Chinese-tank report)


According to Eric Baculinao, 2004, in the year 2002 a survey conducted in a central China village shows that out of 820 women there are more than 300 of them undergo abortion before. And “one third of them admitted that they were trying to select their baby’s sex”. (Sheryl WuDUNN, 1992) In a few decades China has made everyone richer but in some ways, China also made life difficult for the nation 565 million women. In China, women are being discriminated in the area of jobs, housing and land location. For example, whenever company is hiring women they usually look for physical attractiveness of the women as they can be used as an ornament in offices or lure businesses for the company. And they usually have lesser chances to get promoted to higher position in their working life.

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A survey conducted by (People’s Daily Online, 2010) on females’ graduates, showing that “21 percent of female students graduating this year found jobs by end of February, much lower than the male student percentage which is 29.5 percent”. From the percentage we can obviously see that females are lagging behind in the employment rates. Beginning of 2009 (China Human Rights, N.D), Jiangsu provincial education department did a random survey on 100 employer unit to find out which gender they prefer to hire. The result was 53% will hire male graduates and 35% – 36% wanted female graduates, the rest did not have any gender restriction. From the percentage from the survey, we can see that out of 100 companies’ more than 50 companies prefers to hire males than females. They are being discriminated even further, as even if they have outstanding grades and having many qualification certificates it is no better than an identification card of a male graduate. And i feel that the discrimination against females in China is addressed.

Beside from being denied access to good jobs even though they had good qualifications, there have been cases of domestic violence against females in China. According to some survey on domestic violence (Jeffery Hays, 2008), there is around 30 percent occurring in families. The All China Women Federation (ACWF), (Cheng Yingqi, 2010), annually received 40,000 to 50,000 complains since 2004, usually this cases involved husbands acting violently towards them.

(Percentage of Females Domestic Violence Victims)

From the table, we can see that out of 473 females domestic violence victims around 37.6 percent are between the ages of 31-40 years old and 33 percent of them only had Middle school education background. And they usually “suffer physical, psychological and sexual abuse an average of 7.4 times a year” (Cheng Yingqi, 2010).


There are several ways that the discrimination and prejudice against the females in china can be improved. Example, the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) was created in April 3, 1949, and dedicated for “Chinese women of all ethnic groups in all walks of life”. (ACWF, N.D) The federation created laws and regulations with the help of government to safeguard women rights and promote equal rights among men and women in all areas. The China Law center hosted a workshop on anti-discrimination laws with Sichuan University law school. (Yale Law School, 2008) The workshop explore ways which that American approach combating against discrimination, this would provide helpful insight for Chinese academics, lawyers, and activists seeking to reduce discrimination in China. 

Several other organizations in the world are also trying to help females in China. For example the UN Action for women (Department of Public Information, 1996), in 1995 after the Women’s conference China provided training for 10 million women in rural area. These training give women in rural area some basic education as most of them are illiterate. The Anti-Domestic violence Network of China law (N.D), specialized in domestic violence against women and eliminating gender based violence. They also promote gender equality as well as social development in the community.


Having research about the discrimination of females in China and what has been done so far to help ease the problem. I feel that there is still much effort needed on the China government’s enforcement in discrimination against females. Even though there are organizations lending a helping hand for women in China there will still be discrimination against them. The possibility of removing discrimination against females in China is still not possible yet, even though there are laws created to aid them as well as campaigns prompting not to discriminate girls. For example, the Family planning propaganda sends a message saying “Boy or girl, it is the same — Both can carry on the family name” (Research-China.Org, 2005) and the message is far most prominent. With all this aids and campaigns helping females in china, I still strongly believe that discrimination against females in China is still an issue and can’t be solved so easily.


By Matt Rosenberg (2010), “China Population”, Available from: http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/chinapopulation.htm

By Matt Rosenberg (2010), “China’s One Child Policy”, Available from: http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/onechild.htm

By Jeffery Hays (2008), “Preference for Boys in China”, available from: http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=126HYPERLINK “http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=126&catid=4&subcatid=15″&HYPERLINK “http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=126&catid=4&subcatid=15″catid=4HYPERLINK “http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=126&catid=4&subcatid=15″&HYPERLINK “http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=126&catid=4&subcatid=15″subcatid=15

By Adam Brookes (2001), “China’s Unwanted Girls”, available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1506469.stm

By Eric Baculinao (2004), “China’s grapples with legacy of its missing girls”, available from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5953508/ns/world_news

By Sheryl WuDUNN (1992), “Women face increasing bias as china focuses on profits”, available from: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/28/world/women-face-increasing-bias-as-china-focuses-on-profits.html

By People’s Daily Online (2010), “Sexual Discrimination still exist in China’s job market”, available from: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90782/6909178.html

By China Human Rights (No Date), “Gender Discrimination”, available from: http://www.chinahumanrights.org/CSHRS/Magazine/Text/t20100520_593164_1.htm

By Jeffery Hays (2008), “Problems face by women in china”, available from: http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=104HYPERLINK “http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=104&catid=4&subcatid=21″&HYPERLINK “http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=104&catid=4&subcatid=21″catid=4HYPERLINK “http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=104&catid=4&subcatid=21″&HYPERLINK “http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=104&catid=4&subcatid=21″subcatid=21

By Cheng Yingqi, China Daily, (2010), “Experts urge curbing domestic violence”, available from: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-11/26/content_11612576.htm

By All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF),No Date(N.D), available from: http://www.women.org.cn/english/english/aboutacwf/mulu.htm

By Department of Public Information (1996), “UN actions for Women”, available from: http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/women/dpi1796e.htm

By Yale Law School (2008), “The China Law Center Co-Hosts Workshop on Anti-Discrimination Law”, available from: http://www.law.yale.edu/intellectuallife/6198.htm

By Anti-Domestic Violence Network of China Law Society, No date (N.D), “Strive for a world without violence for women”, available from: http://www.stopdv.org.cn/en/about.asp

By Research – China.Org (2005), “Why Girls Are Abandoned in China”, available from: http://research-china.blogspot.com/2005/10/why-girls-are-abandoned-in-china.html



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