In order to promote the State policy of gender equality, authorities in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province have been working to end discrimination in the workplace, according to officials.
Specifically, in August last year, Heilongjiang Women's Federation and the provincial Office of Human Resources and Social Security jointly issued a regulation, urging employers and intermediary agencies to safeguard women's employment rights.
The regulations list several preemptive initiatives to discourage gender discrimination, and highlight the risks to employers, a spokesperson explained.
Further initiatives include a scheme which requires all relevant agencies across the province to establish women's rights arbitration tribunals in order to better solve disputed cases.
Women can now also receive legal assistance from such departments directly, the official added.
"This regulation is another breakthrough the province has made to stress the issue of gender equality," the official commented.
The provincial government issued a directive in 2009 which stipulates that employers must treat everyone equally and fairly, be they women, from ethnic minorities, physically impaired or carriers of an infectious disease.
At a provincial government meeting in 2010, authorities pledged to safeguard women's equal employment rights and promote women's startups.
Heilongjiang Women's Federation has conducted research since 2013 focusing on gender equality issues in employment, a federation official added.
Local statistics reveal that, in 2015, 73.4 percent of jobs advertised by provincial and municipal government directly affiliated organs and units did not specify gender as a requirement among recruits, marking a 19 percent increase over 2013.
Among a total of 3,325 positions last year, male-only jobs accounted for 29.1 percent while female-only were 1.3 percent. Out of those vacancies for men, 73.9 percent related to positions as police officers, the official explained.
Since October 2016, some 264 public institutions have advertised a total of 1,596 job vacancies.
Only 6.7 percent clearly required male applicants, while 2.1 percent preferred females only, according to the report.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of enterprises releasing job ads online did not specify gender preference, the official said.
The federation will continue collaborating with the provincial working committee on children and women in promoting and evaluating women's employment conditions across the province, the official concluded.
(Source: Women Voice/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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