Women's Rights Protected and Gender Awareness Enhanced

October 26, 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 sixth to the ninth respects of the data report:

Sixth, marriage and family. This survey shows that 85.2% of women are moderately or very satisfied with their family status. The proportion of wives participating in decision-making in production and management is 72.6% and that in buying or building houses 74.4% - respective increases of 5.7 and 3.9 percentage points compared with 10 years ago. Meanwhile 74.7% play a role in family decision-making on investments or loans – an increase of 14.3 percentage points. Data indicates that 37.9% of women and 67.1% of men own real estate, including joint ownership.

72.7% of the married think that wives do more housework than husbands. Among those surveyed, families with children under the age of 3 basically take child-care responsibilities, and mothers as primary daytime caregivers account for 63.2%. The employment rate of mothers in the 25-34 age range that have children under the age of 6 is 72.0%, 10.9 percentage points lower than women of the same age without children.

Seventh, lifestyle. The survey results show that women work a total 574 minutes and men 537 minutes in the average work day, and that women have an average 240 minutes and men 297 minutes of rest on days off. The survey implies that women's lifestyles are becoming more diversified. Of women surveyed, 72.2% have traveled outside their residential counties and districts, and tourism has been the purpose of 35.2% of women's longest trips. The survey also shows that 55.2% of women do regular physical exercises, that 20.2% have participated in village or community cultural and sports activities, and that 29.1% use the Internet. Also that 12.6% of women have religious beliefs, 10.1% in the city and 15.4% in the countryside.

Eighth, awareness of legal rights and interests. Of women surveyed, 83.4% know that there is a special law protecting women's rights and interests in China -- an increase of 9.6 percentage points compared to a decade ago. A further 76.3% are in favor of daughters having rights of equal inheritance to parental property, like sons, when they have fulfilled their maintenance obligations. More than 70% of women have a clear understanding of gender discrimination as apparent in "not being hired or promoted because of gender;" "unequal pay for equal work;" "being fired for getting married/pregnant" and "being looked down upon because of female gender."

Survey results show that 10% of women have encountered sexual discrimination in the job market, and that 7.8% have encountered sexual harassment in the workplace or at school; also that 24.7% of married women have been subjected to their spouses' verbal and physical violence, restriction of their personal freedom, economic control, rape within marriage and other forms of domestic violence. Of those surveyed, 5.5% married women stated unequivocally that they have suffered violence at the hands of their spouses, 7.8% of them from rural areas and 3.1% from urban areas.

Ninth, attitudes toward gender. Of those surveyed, 83.5% agreed that "women's capabilities are no worse than men's"; 88.6% that "men should spontaneously shoulder house chores;" and 86.7% that "gender equality will not be achieved on its own but only through proactive promotion." A further 61.6% of men and 54.6% of women think that "men should be society-based, while women should be family-oriented" – respective increases of 7.7 and 4.4 percentage points compared with the year 2000.

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