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What is Gender Equality?
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2017-8-23-
Title: What is Gender Equality?
Release Date: August 23, 2017
Keyword: Gender Equality, Discrimination, Employment, Family Education, Labor Distribution

China's government and the Communist Party of China (CPC) have made unremitting efforts for years to uphold and promote equality between men and women in various aspects.

Officials recently released the results of a new study into gender equality, explicitly elaborating on the concept in the national context.

The paper recommends for people to hold the same attitudes and views when evaluating men and women's personalities and dignity; their capabilities and values; roles and division of labor; rights and liabilities; and, opportunities and achievements in both the social and domestic spheres.

Gender Equality in Personality, Dignity, Capability, Value

The authors regard the elimination of gender bias and discrimination in every aspect as the first step to promoting gender equality.

They said that, despite differences in physical structure between men and women, all human beings are born free and equal in creativity, independence and autonomy.

Meanwhile, results from a large number of studies show that the differences in intelligence and capabilities mainly depend on individuals instead of gender, which disputes the idea by some that women are inferior to men.

Scholars also noted that women, as independent social subjects, have their rights to make their own judgment on social issues and own arrangements on personal affairs.

Specifically, in modern society, women not only play their vital roles in family development, they also dedicate themselves to realizing the progress of social civilization and the country's prosperity, holding up "half of the sky" in economic, political, cultural, social and ecological fields.

In addition, they make great contributions to human reproduction.

Healthy Gender Relations

The study suggests that a healthy gender relationship between a man and a woman is equal and dependent, with mutual benefits, rather than hierarchical, oppressive and binary.

In particular, authors point out that this does not mean men and women should be the same or exactly alike.

Instead, the concept advocates the public to respect natural differences and to eliminate the gender gap in multiple social aspects, providing fair treatment to women and men regarding their respective needs.

People who promote gender equality and women's liberation, instead of creating women's superior social status, aim to realize both men and women's free and comprehensive development without limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles or prejudices.

Therefore, people should abandon the traditional patriarchy culture since it hinders the whole society's advancement in various aspects.

Equal Rights, Liability in Family

In private sphere, women and men should both act as participants and decision-makers for vital household affairs such as children's employment, house buying, investment and production and management.

Meanwhile, they equally share family resources related to healthcare, education, property, stock and parental wealth.

In addition, husbands and wives should both take on duties and obligations as breadwinners and caregivers.

In particular, they are supposed to set role models to pass down positive family virtues and create democratic, harmonious and inclusive family environment.

Gender Relations, Country and Society

Scholars stated that in the public sphere, both men and women make significant and indispensable contributions to building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

More precisely, women play a role of holding up "half the sky" in promoting the concept of "Five-in-One" (referring to the overall layout of economic, political, cultural, social and ecological construction); the so-called "Four Comprehensives" (the strategic layout to comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively advance the rule of law, and comprehensively strictly govern the Party); and, realizing the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the nation.

In terms of economic aspects, authors say that women hold the key to China's sustainable development and in turn, economic growth provides materials and institutional guarantees for women's comprehensive advancement.

Therefore, traditional gender norms which reinforced women's motherhood and household liability and claimed that women should return home have a detrimental impact on social development from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

In order to promote women's public engagement, scholars called on the whole society to abolish limitations and discrimination related to reproductive responsibilities; and, give respects, fairness of evaluation and rationale compensation for women's childbearing and child-rearing efforts.

Authors suggest that since gender disparity does exist in the contemporary China, related departments should reinforce their liability to safeguard women's development.

The country needs to vigorously take steps to narrow the gap and fulfill women's specific rights and interests in multiple aspects such as law enacting, policy-making, planning and work deployment, thereby developing their full potential. 

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