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Top 10 Gender Equality Events in 2014
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2015-2-9-
Title: Top 10 Gender Equality Events in 2014
Release Date: January 29, 2015
Keyword: Gender equality, imbalanced ratio, female, male, revise amendment, law, events

The results of a selection program to highlight the past year's top 10 events related to gender equality in China was published on January 26 in Beijing.

The top 10 events, which were decided on by both expert appraisal and online voting, were to be selected based on four main factors: their relevance to gender equality, social influence, policy influence and the creativity of the event.

The following is an overview of the events that made it into the top 10:

Ranking at the top of the 2014 list of gender equality events was the pressure put on the Ministry of Education in China to ensure a "balanced" male-to-female ratio in university admission.

"On September 1, we received complaint letters from five women alleging that there is gender discrimination occurring with the admissions for 11 prestigious universities across China; however, in accordance with the law, the Ministry of Education cannot authorize fixed male–female ratios in university admissions," said an official, adding that the ministry attached great importance to equal rights in education.

The next four events are highly related to the interests and rights of rural women and domestic violence victims as well as to women's family status and employment discrimination. The Chinese government's No. 1 work document asserted on October 21 that women's land rights in rural China, especially on land-contracting rights, should be legitimized and protected to cultivate women's management abilities from a basic level.

The further upholding and safeguarding of women's rights would be marked by the December 2014 release of the draft law for China's new anti-domestic violence legislation; by the August 1 implementation of a pilot reform — appropriately named the "surname reform" — to narrow the gap of gender imbalance in Changfeng County in east China's Anhui Province, where cash handouts were used to encouraged new parents to let their newborn children take the mother's surname instead of the traditional practice of using the father's surname; and by the June 2014 milestone victory for women in a gender discrimination case about employment in east China's Zhejiang Province.

The next three events would touch upon some other, separate issues, such as male and female's equal rights on land contracting; a new November 2014 trial for domestic-violence victim Li Yan, who killed her husband due to the long-term violence to which he subjected her, in southwest China's Sichuan Province; as well as the declaration of Chinese comfort women into the Memory of the World Register under the name of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Both of the final two events were tied in with Chinese law: The Chinese government and health authorities cracked down on people's having blood tests done overseas for prenatal sex discernment and on gender discrimination–based abortion; and the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China was amended to protect women as well as men from public indecency or disorderly conduct, which before were crimes that applied only to those who indecently assaulted women.

"These events all promote China's gender equality policy, which will exert a positive influence on society as a whole," said Tang Xujun, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Journalism and Communication.

The former chief editor of China Women's News expressed that the great significance of the event is that we attached great importance not only to vulnerable groups including rural women and victims of domestic violence but also to the protection of men's rights too. That is gender equality in the truest and most legal sense.

Jointly launched by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Journalism and Communication, China Women's News and the China Women's Development Foundation, the selection for the top 10 gender equality events has been held every year in succession since 2012.

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