Economic and Social Status of Chinese Women Raised

October 25, 2011
Editor: Wang Yanqiu

Results of the newly-released Third Survey on Chinese Women's Social Status were released on October 21. This survey has completed preliminary data collection, in the form of 105,573 valid questionnaires filled out by participants aged 18 and over, and 20,405 valid questionnaires filled out by children aged 10 to 17. The followings are the third to the fifth respects of the data report:

Third, economic status. The survey shows that 71.1% of women in the 18-64 age range are in employment, 60.8% in urban areas and 82.0% in rural areas. The proportion of employed women in the first, second and tertiary industry is respectively 45.3%, 14.5% and 40.2%. Currently, 24.9% of employed rural women and 36.8% of employed men are engaged in non-agricultural labor -- respective increases of 14.7 and 17.9 percentage points compared with 10 years ago. The proportion of rural women who have returned home from cities to do non-agricultural labor is 37.8% -- 16.3 percentage points higher than women who have never left their hometown to work away.

The survey finds that 9.0% of women and 14.0% of men have taken out loans for production and business, and that the proportion of women and men taking out small loans that include government- subsidized interest payments is almost identical -- respectively 37.3% and 36.9%; also that of loans to rural women, 39.9% entail government-subsidized interest payments.
The survey shows that the income of women laborers is relatively low; that there is a wide income gap between the two genders; and that the average annual income of women laborers is respectively equal to 67.3% of that of men in urban areas and 56.0% of that of men in rural areas.

Fourth, social security. The survey shows that 73.3% of women with non-agricultural household registration have access to social security pensions and 87.6% to social medical insurance, as compared to respectively 31.1% and 95.0% of women with agricultural household registration. In contrast to 2000, the proportion of women in urban units enjoying social security and medical insurance shows respective increases of 20.9 and 47.1 percentage points, and implies a significant narrowing of the gender gap. Over the past decade, 87.3% of women in urban units have taken the national standard maternity leave - an increase of 9.8 percentage points compared with a decade ago.

Fifth, politics. This survey shows that 2.2% of women in employment are principals of State organs, Party and mass organizations, enterprises, and public institutions as compared to 4.1% - almost half - that of men. Also that 80.5% of units with high level talents are headed by men. Data indicate that 92.9% of women are concerned about "major domestic and foreign affairs;" 54.1% have participated in democratic supervision, and 18.3% take the initiative to raise suggestions in their unit, community and village. Over the past five years, 83.6% of rural women have participated in village committee elections, and 70.4% "tried to know the candidates well before voting". (To be continued)

(Women of China)

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