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S China City Holds Seminar on Gender Equality Assessment
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2018-9-26-
Title: S China City Holds Seminar on Gender Equality Assessment
Author: Xie Wen
Release Date: 2018/9/25
Keyword: Seminar, Gender Equality Assessment

Organizers in Shenzhen, in south China's Guangdong Province, held a seminar on July 27 to sum up local gender equality assessment work.

Some 50 officials from the 16 member units of the local laws and policies gender equality assessment committee, such as the municipal people's congress, the municipal legal affairs office, and the organization department of the municipal Party committee, attended the meeting, summed up the results of the one-year gender equality assessment work, and unveiled the city's first gender equality assessment demonstration site.

The meeting further combined the strengths of all member units and the community, and jointly promoted the effective operation of the gender equality assessment mechanism and propelled the implementation of gender mainstreaming and basic state policy of gender equality.

At the meeting, officials delivered their respective speeches. Luo Li, the director of the municipal assessment committee, and the leaders of the municipal human resource and society security bureau jointly unveiled the gender equality assessment demonstration site in the bureau; Xu Shaoying, deputy director of the bureau, introduced their work experience and introduced the situation of women's equal employment in Shenzhen.

Representatives from the a company in Guangming New District shared the practice of promoting women's equal employment; Hu Jiannong, director of the municipal legal affairs office, introduced the Guidance on Establishing a Working Mechanism for Promoting Equal Employment of Women in Shenzhen; Ma Hong, president of Shenzhen Women's Federation (SWF) and deputy director of the municipal assessment committee, introduced a report on gender equality assessment.

The Report on the Employment Discrimination against Women in Shenzhen, a survey jointly conducted by SWF and the municipal human resource and social security bureau on the status of female employment discrimination in 2017, showed that the employment of women in the city has steadily increased, maternity insurance has been well implemented, and employers have performed well in accordance with the labor laws and regulations.

However, gender discrimination against women while they are seeking jobs has not been eliminated. For example, female job seekers have been frequently asked about their marital status during interviews, with a ratio up to 20.19 percent, compared to 9.30 percent for men. Some 12.87 percent of women revealed that they had also been asked about whether they had children, whilst this figure was only 2.33 percent for men. The report also showed that 21.9 percent of employers preferred to hire men rather than women.

In addition, after studying 24,269 different types of recruitment materials on the website, 52 were found to show obvious gender-restricted expressions in the recruitment information, 49 showed "Men Only" and three said "Male First." In addition, there has also been implicit gender discrimination information contained, including height requirements.

In order to further eliminate gender discrimination in employment and promote equal employment for women, the SWF, the municipal human resource and social security bureau and the Shenzhen Federation of Trade Unions drafted the Guidance on Establishing Shenzhen's Working Mechanism for Promoting Equal Employment of Women, which has been distributed to various districts.

The opinions clearly stipulate the hotline for unfair employment complaints to establish the public litigation channels for anti-gender discrimination in employment, and agreed that trade unions and women's organizations may initiate labor litigation procedures to safeguard women's legitimate rights and interests when employers and intermediaries infringe on the equal employment rights of many women.

They also claimed to integrate the law enforcement of enterprises into the labor security credit information system; and emphasized that all levels of human and social departments should establish a sound and normalized supervision mechanism to understand the situation of key industries, enterprises recruiting women and protect the legal rights and interests of women's labor and employment.

They also required the incorporation of the compliance of enterprises with various female employment and special protection policies into the credit investigation system of the labor security of enterprises.

In addition, the opinion also suggests establishing an interview mechanism to respond to gender discrimination in employment. It stipulates that for employers and professional intermediaries that have serious problems of gender discrimination or serious violations of women's labor rights, the labor security supervision agencies may arrange special personnel to conduct interviews or jointly interview with women's federations and trade unions, and urge rectification within a time limit.

Units with major violations of labor security against female workers may be announced to the credit department and society by the women's federation and trade unions; and the related departments shall order the employing units with serious gender discrimination to correct themselves within a set amount of time.

The opinion also regulated two types of boundaries of employment discrimination. One is the case where national laws and regulations explicitly prohibit gender discrimination in employment. For example, when recruiting employees or personnel, except for the types of jobs or occupations that are not suitable for women, employers may not refuse to hire women or raise the employment standards for women; and the employers shall not restrain female employees with marriage or birth limitations in their labor contracts.

The other category includes suspected discrimination against women as stipulated in the Interim Measures for Women's Federations to Promote Women's Equal Employment. For example all things being equal, women have limited opportunities to take a written test, an interview or a re-exa mination; women applicants have been directly asked about their marital status, or whether they have plans for marriage or birth in the near future; and other forms of discrimination against women.

(Source: Translated and edited by Women of China)
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