Apology Asked for in Zhejiang's First Gender Discrimination Case Retrial

January 11, 2015
By Yao YaoEditor: Tracy Zhu
Huang Rong and her friends outside of the Court. The first gender discrimination case in east China's Zhejiang Province was heard again at the Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court on January 6 because the plaintiff in the case, Huang Rong, was not satisfied with the verdict of the first trial in November 2014.  [Women of China/ Yao Yao]

The first gender discrimination case in east China's Zhejiang Province was heard again at the Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court on January 6 because the plaintiff in the case, Huang Rong, was not satisfied with the verdict of the first trial in November 2014. The defendant, a culinary school in Hangzhou, was ordered in the first trial to pay financial compensation of 2,000 yuan (U.S. $322) to Huang. Huang requested in the retrial the school should offer an apology for gender discrimination against her in employment.

On July 8, 2014, Huang, at that time a graduate from a university in central China's Henan Province filed a lawsuit with the Xihu District People's Court in Hangzhou, Zhejiang's capital, on the gender discrimination behavior of the New Oriental Culinary School in the city in their employment procedure. Applying for a post at the school, Huang had been declined several times only because she was not a male although she met all the other requirements of this post. Huang thought the school's gender discrimination violated the law and filed a lawsuit against the school.

On November 12, 2014, Huang was notified by the Court of the verdict of the lawsuit. The court held the school had violated the law on gender discrimination and was ordered to pay the financial compensation to Huang.

Huang was not satisfied with the verdict since she thought the school hadn't shown an earnest attitude in the case, and no respondent had shown up when the case was being tried. Huang filed a further lawsuit to the Court requesting a formal apology from the School on account of their gender discrimination.

Huang said she also hoped the further hearing would help with the development of an equal-opportunity employment market for males and females. She said:" Since I know of many similar cases in China where there is gender discrimination in employment, I think financial compensation alone is not acceptable. An apology is more urgently needed in a society where gender discrimination is often found in the job market."

As shown in the survey report issued by the Development Department of the All-China Women's Federation in 2011, 56.7 percent of surveyed women university students considered graduates of their sex had fewer opportunities than their male counterparts. Nearly 92 percent of the surveyed women graduates said they had experienced gender discrimination when seeking work, with 21.1 percent reporting 'frequent' on the frequency issue, 25.3 percent 'sometimes'  and 45.4 percent 'occasionally'.

Xu Ying, who was the attorney in the first-ever hukou (household registration) discrimination case relating to the work market in China said: "An apology is much more important than paying financial compensation for the enterprise. They don't mind at all compensation of 2,000 yuan (U.S. $322). The most important thing in the case is to make the enterprise realize the mistake they have made and for them to apologize."

Xu said she thinks Huang's request is reasonable and most urgently needed in the present situation in China's job market. An apology from the enterprise would also be a big step in the development of China's legal system if the request was satisfied in the final verdict.

(Women of China)

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