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Experts Advise on Elimination of Gender Discrimination in Employment
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2016-8-10-
Title: Experts Advise on Elimination of Gender Discrimination in Employment
Source: People's Daily
Release Date: August 10, 2016
Keyword: gender discrimination, employment, female university students, universal two-child policy
With the implementation of China's universal two-child policy, the employment of female university students has become the focus of public attention again in this year's job-hunting season. 
There are 7.65 million university graduates in 2016, hitting a new record high, according to data released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. 
Some media have reported that employers prefer female job seekers with two children. However, this kind of advantage is also based on gender discrimination in the workplace.  
In 2014, the Women's Studies Institute of China, affiliated to the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), carried out a survey of university graduates across Beijing, Hebei and Shandong provinces. 
The results showed that around 86.18 percent of female students suffered gender discrimination in employment.  
Under the same academic background, the number of male students who received interview invitations was 1.42 times that of females, according to a report conducted in 2015 by the National Academy of Development and Strategy at the Renmin University of China. 
"Since the implementation of the two-child policy, women's employment has been affected greatly, especially in the engineering, IT, manufacturing and architecture industries with longer working hours and larger labor intensity," said Li Yong, vice-director of the Student Career Guidance Center at Xi'an Jiaotong University. 
In addition, the survey also found that in terms of average annual earnings, female students apparently lag behind by their male peers. 
Researcher Ma Yan, from the Women's Studies Institute of China, said that because of the increase of labor costs, including economic, time and operating costs, female staff are not favored by employers across most industries. 
Professor Sun Xiaomei, from China Women's University, advised drafting a basic law against gender discrimination in employment and establishing relief measures and mechanisms simultaneously with a view to protecting women's rights of reproduction and employment. 
Considering the influence of the two-child policy on female job hunters, Associate Researcher Yin Xiaojun, from the Institute of Sociology at the Shaanxi Academy of Social Sciences, appealed to the government to introduce relevant financial subsidies or reproductive incentives so as to reduce costs for enterprises. 
"Reproductive behavior is a systematic task that should be attached great importance and supported by all members of society. Furthermore, the government should establish relevant mechanisms to share in these costs", said Peng Xizhe, director of the Center for Population and Development Policy Studies at Fudan University. 
Many countries have realized the importance of solving the conflicts between women's work and child care, and have taken some measures. 
For instance, in New Zealand, paid maternity leave is completely covered by the government. 
In Russia, women can enjoy half paid maternity leave, of which 40 percent is paid by the National Social Insurance Fund. 
As more people are becoming aware of the importance of parents participating in their baby's care, many countries have promoted "men's maternity leave" and "parental leave". 
The Swedish government has established a quota system for men's parental leave, which stipulates that of the total 480 days of paid maternity leave, there are 60 days given to males and these cannot be transferred to their spouses. Moreover, parents who share parental leave can get an extra €5 (U.S. $ 5.5) per day for the "Award of Gender Equality". 
Experts believe that overseas approaches, on the one hand, convey a positive message that fathers should fulfill their parenting responsibilities as well; on the other hand, the behaviors also reduce the burden on women's child care, which are conducive to women's employment rights. 


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