China stands out as one of the most developed nations regarding GDP and economic expansion rates, and the growth is attributed to increased manufacturing and the growth of the export sector. Economic development demands that a country must expand socially and politically and China is no exception as the culture and ruling structures are changing to create flexibility that meets current demands. The political landscape of China is evolving, and the traditional family values are also developing with more women attempting to explore employment opportunities and contribute to the family income. The essay examines the historical context of China which affects the gender gap and how it is progressing revealing whether it has improved or is becoming worse. Besides, the essay will highlight issues that have contributed to the inequality gap and make recommendations on the adjustments that can be applied to improve the situation while creating awareness. An analysis of Chinese landscape seeks to examine the trends in gender inequality and the contributions of the society as well as government structures in fostering equality.
Disadvantages of gender inequality
The workplace is the most significant reflection of gender inequality, and it reveals the impact of the disparities on both males and females and calls for the need for equality structures as a means of employee satisfaction and encouragement. The family setting also suffers significantly due to inequality as women are judged through stereotypical notions as opposed to evaluation of each person based on their capabilities. Elwer et al. reveal that women working in environments that encourage or entertain inequality are likely to experience distress as compared to males in a homogenous environment (1).
The presence of bias in the processes and service sectors of any organization impacts management and human resource decisions which accelerates the culture of sexism. Practices of inequality are passed down from one generation to the next through the establishment of stable cultures making it difficult to eliminate the bias or grow an institution through the exploitation of all human capital (Stamarski and Hing 1). Women attempting development in economically expanding regionals are likely to experience hindrances in employment which trickles down to discrimination at the social or family level as they hold a lower status. Olah, Richter, and Kotowska argue that the social structure of marriage encourages inequality through the promotion of hypogamy by males which translates to reduced health among women (18). Furthermore, the lower status of women in the society hinders them from the exploitation of insights culminating in violence against the disabled, inferior and illiterate individuals. Females under duress from gender inequality in all settings are more vulnerable to mental breakdown, abuse from the males physically, verbally and sexually as well as exclusion from social settings and social media bullying in modern times.
Historical context of Gender Gaps in China
The traditional setting of China reflects the exclusion of women from a cultural and political perspective which has dramatically affected efforts of gender streamlining in recent periods as well as created economic pressure on the region. The Chinese legislative framework is being adjusted to create a flexible model that partners with the community and other organizations globally to close the gender disparities. According to Burnett, China has encompassed regulations in the constitution seeking to launch programs on the inclusion of females as well as punish institutions promoting discriminate practices towards the group (313). Besides, China has encompassed stringent regulations on gender bias against women that go beyond the rules used worldwide. One of the core objectives of the Chinese political environment is the elimination of bias against women through the enlightenment of the society and the promotion of equality in the hiring and treatment of females in the working environment (Burnet 317).
Lee & Feng argue that the gender gaps are a resultant of past activities and traditions taken up by the Chinese which restrict the participation of daughters in essential family and community based issues (40). Firstly, the prejudice against females was portrayed by the preference of males to entice the gods through sacrifice as well the support by the imperial state to value sons more than daughters. On the contrary, women were locked out of participation in the inheritance of family property and the males were also allowed to take up the family name while the females only took up the husbands’ identity.
The foundation of the cultural revolt in China is the modernization of all processes citizens to accept that females and males are capable of similar accomplishments whether physical or mental. The revolution is designed to improve equality in the political scene which can influence changes in other sectors of life through the counter of existing myths replacing them with knowledge of the capabilities of women. Traditional Chinese society according to Yang and Yan reveals the silencing of females politically promoting the development of gender gaps in the region (80). Consequently, women believed that struggles to climb the ladder economically and in the political platform are rational and justified based on the culture imprinted in China.
However, with increased revolution efforts, more women are serving in high political positions in a bid to balance the community from the top as an example to the community. The participation of women in prominent positions has not made an adequate impact on the society as ground level positions have a more significant impact on the community (Zeng 148). Focus on the growing culture which is the rural settlers and the middle-income earners who drive the economy will accelerate the closing of the gender gap faster than the involvement of the affluent society only. Szelenyi highlights that the traditional Chinese community was run by the individuals who rose from poor backgrounds, but the modern society is controlled by political capital (13). With the rise in women in power, it is transparent that the country is experiencing major shifts in the welfare of females and the impact will eventually trickle down to the rural communities.
Social and Family Perspective of sexism in the Chinese Society
1949 witnessed the declaration of the People’s Republic of China which came with different demands on the society and the family construct: While traditions stay firm, many changes have also occurred in the economic structure. Xie introduces an exciting perspective by citing that the traditional females relied on their male counterparts for financial support and over-emphasized on the need for hypergamy (7). Changes in sexism are depicted by the escalation of cases of divorce and premarital agreements between males and females, but traditions such as women marrying men from a higher social status are still active in the community. Consequently, housework division remains similar to the traditional setting and preferences for male children have not changed in China putting excess pressure on the youth attempting to indulge in marriage (Xie 7). Political influences on the family setting reveal the prioritization of women’s rights in China, but great inconsistencies on the position of women are reflected over the years. While there is expansion in opportunities for women’s education, remuneration, and careers, the status of females is still lower compared to that of males based on family values (Li 33). The differences are a reflection of continued efforts in China but also call for the need for more significant impact in the family culture to allow for similar growth of equality to that of the economy.
Over time, Chinese society has evolved to allow the youth to experience less inequality compared to that of their predecessors in the traditional Chinese community but some values cut across the demographics. Gender gaps among the youth are reducing with respect towards the parents changing drastically through the fostering of better communication strategies across the demographics. The descent of information from parents to sons is still significant although the modern society reveals the enlightenment of females allowing them to capture the wisdom preserved traditionally for males (Hu & Scott 1267). The traditional agricultural community is witnessing a change in employment structures among genders with men maintaining their preferred positions for off-farm opportunities. The development of markets locally and internationally is, however, opening the agricultural sector to female employment for off-farm duties based on the shortage of labor from their male counterparts. Gender income gaps are narrowing with the involvement of women in agriculturally related responsibilities and have altered income-power roles in the household setting (Matthew and Nee 628). It is transparent that women who contribute a higher percentage of the family income can make more significant decisions on behalf of their husbands compared to the traditional setting.
Gao realized that despite the protection of women’s right by the political frameworks, China remains a hotbed of discrimination towards females in the employment sector based on different factors (412). The legal models used in China reflect and encourage female inferiority indirectly and hence, are not adequate in the elimination of bias against women in the employment sector. The Chinese corporations have been singled out for allowing the placement of gender-biased advertisements for employment which discourage females from application to white collar positions. Besides, the inequality gap reveals the recruitment of males on the basis of qualifications and talents while women are subject to further assessment based on age and beauty (Gao 415).
Healthcare differences and Awareness
With variances in income and lifestyle between the male population and the women, it is transparent that the two demographics cannot manage similar health position and support, therefore, creating significant differences. The healthcare framework in China is improving for all genders including a rise in women’s health through the promotion of research and development in female affiliated illnesses. Women in rural areas are highlighted to experience less quality healthcare translating to the low quality of life in the locations compared to that of men: despite the rise in quality of life for females in urban regions (Yu and Sarri 1894). Increased efforts are necessitated by the government as well as the community in the creation of a gender balance in healthcare through enhanced focus on women issues and healthcare delivery. The overall concern of women’s issues is a great stride in the promotion of better living standards through mental well-being improvement.
Rates of awareness on gender disparities are low among Chinese females based on the culture, upbringing, family and social structures as well as personal experiences of the women (Xu, Wang and Ye 563). It is clear that women are not making adequate strides in closing gender gaps as they are not fully aware of the position as well as the impact of sexism in their overall quality of life. Xu, Wang, and Ye add that women are not enlightened on the actual statistics relating to gender-based differences, factors leading to the disparities and bias associated with sex (563). The lack of awareness serves as an accelerating factor of sexist bias in the political, social and economic environment restricting the progress of efforts already in place to close the gender gaps.
Political Participation of Women and Education
Political structures not only define the significant leadership posts but also minor positions in the communities, learning institutions and any framework of authority in a nation. One of the core justifications provided for lower representation and participation of women in political forums and leadership is the lack of adequate self-esteem to vie for the positions as well as community attitudes towards women leaders (Howell 609). Furthermore, the traditional social setting reflects women as inferior beings which creates a negative outlook for the females discouraging them from indulgence in leadership positions. Proposals of names of individuals capable of vying for community leadership positions is conducted by the males in authority which excludes women from proposing candidates from their demographic.
The disadvantage extends to the significant political scene as few females are mentored for legislative power from the ground level, and those that succeed are hindered by lower wages and fewer opportunities for career growth (Howell 611). Political participation of females in China is promoted by the set-up of programs for women empowerment and regulations by different bodies fighting for the increased appointment of women (Guo and Zheng 2).
In the past, Chinese females have developed a high level of reliance on government structures, but with more education and global enlightenment, the women are pushing for equal treatment and independence. Through fostered courage and training, females are developing a high sense of willingness to fight the inequalities founded on the legal and political frameworks that govern China (Bulger 2000). Through continued success in building independence, more females are finding a voice to challenge the existing inequalities through greater efforts of creating awareness are needed especially in the rural setting. The enlightenment of the community and the growth of education among different families is promoting the attendance of college for females. The trend is growing at a significant rate allowing more women to study for short-term courses compared to men which culminates in the increase in awareness on the strength of women in the community (Yeung 12). With the rise in family businesses, women have higher chances of graduating and getting into college through the support from enlightened parents.
Efforts in Place to Reduce Gender Gaps
In an assessment of gender, work and family issues in China, Riley reveals that efforts are being put in place to encourage females to take up professional courses in technology allowing them to improve their skill in the working environment (61). Besides, the changes in culture have eliminated the negative attitude towards women who attempt to balance work and family through the hiring of the house helps. Females can improve their skills, professionalism, and career through increased time and concentration in the office compared to past periods where they had to balance socialization, work, and domestic chores.
In addition to regulations and programs designed at reducing sexism in China, it is clear that the legal structures are not strict in the enforcement of the laws and frameworks for women empowerment. Communities like the epistemic society have formed an association that borrows from global models as an attempt to ensure the observation of women’s rights in the reduction of violence and unethical employment procedures (Milwertz and Bu 146). Elimination of violence from traditional Chinese societies translates to the empowerment of the females in the family setting as well as changing of the inferiority complex of women by increasing self-esteem.
Many studies are being conducted in the region to reveal the progress done by the various changes in the society and they are necessary for the creation of strategies as well as the determination of processes that work in lowering sexism. Chinese theorists have embraced an innovative approach effective in solving Chinese gender issues which include the careful selection and filter of western-based tactics and fusing them with local culture (Chen 180). The theories are reframed in the Chinese dialects to enable ease of understanding as well as ensure the target group can identify the issues being defined and implement suggested recommendations. The use of existing theoretical models is significant as Chinese theorists do not need to invest in the testing of strategies as they can choose the tactics that have been proved useful in other regions.
The empowerment of females in China is founded on the increased life expectancy in women and the differences in mortality rates revealing that women live longer compares to their male counterparts (Le et al. 1). On the contrary, women are being made aware of their vulnerabilities to health issues and psychological disorders due to the strain caused by family, social and economic pressures. The enlightenment is allowing for women to improve lifestyles which means they are developing their position in performing better in their careers, post-retirement duties, and political areas. Besides, women have proved to perform better than males in the education sector, and with increased enrollment of all genders, it is evident that women are making strides in expanding the economy (Zhang 25).
It is transparent women have been depressed in the past by the lack of adequate education opportunities, under-representation in the community positions and inferiority in the family and social setting. Empowerment of females in all economic sectors, as well as the increase in cultural flexibility, is allowing the development of women’s confidence in the society: hence, they can stand up to practices that promote sexism. The reduction of hypergamy among men is allowing females to take up stronger roles in the family and return influence confidence among youths. The political inclusion of women in the leadership arena is a reflection of the efforts in the society to fight for the rights of females which is influencing similar trends in community levels. However, literature assessed proves the need for more considerable efforts at the community level in promoting leadership by women by allowing them to take up more powerful positions. There is a profound growth in the number of women enrolled in schools and a rise in positive attitude towards educating female children as much as the male ones.
Efforts by the government, education programs, social media, and employers are making a significant impact on the closing of gender gaps, but an alteration in the legal framework will accelerate the efforts. Employers need to be held accountable for sexist recruitment procedures and advertisement which are depressing efforts in including women in the building of the economy. Exploitation of social media use and enlightenment is a global means of reducing gender disparities as it allows for efficient communication of all individuals and dissemination of information to enable the understanding of rights. Nicolas and Rubio reveal that women have an opportunity to indulge in social entrepreneurship which will allow the learning of new culture and interaction with open-minded people (61).
China has experienced significant challenges in closing the gender gap based on hindrances from the traditional foundation and the rigid political structure of the nation. Lack of awareness of the position of women has pushed them to accept the current circumstances by believing they are bound to endure the challenges of gender disparities. Efforts by different groups in the country have resulted in the reduction of the gap, but more resources are needed to eliminate the sexism. Economic development in China has opened up the country to varied views allowing women to progress economically and build on their career as well as change their position in the social setting. Recommendations on the exploitation of social media, restructuring of political positions to allow women to serve at all levels of leadership: promotion of justice will ensure female rights are observed increasing women empowerment..
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