With the implementation of the universal two-child policy, as well as the economic transition across the country, it has brought many new challenges and opportunities to the employment of female university students.
According to data released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, there were 7.65 million university graduates in 2016, hitting a new record high in recent years. Of these, female students accounted for more than 52 percent of the total graduates.
The Upgrading of Economic Transition Stimulates the Employment of Female University Students
- The slowdown in economic growth brings new opportunities for the employment of female university students.
At present, a number of new industries and professions have sprung up, especially the internet-related service industries, providing jobs for female students.
Moreover, the rapid growth of small and micro enterprises also effectively promotes the employment of female college students.
- The innovation development principle, as the first place of the five principles of innovation, coordination, green development, opening up and sharing put forward by the Party Central Committee, provides women with new employment opportunities.
Gender prejudice, institutional barriers and cultural problems are likely to be eliminated through innovation. Furthermore, the innovation of development ideas, directions and outlook will provide more possibilities for the employment of female college students.
Huge Employment Pressures for Female University Students
With the increasingly expanding group of university graduates, female students still have to face huge employment pressures.
- The slowdown in economic growth also brings challenges for the employment of female university students.
Firstly, the downward pressures on the economy are bound to lead to job cuts and female university students who are in the disadvantaged position of employment have to suffer the most.
Next, there is a high demand for skilled personnel due to the upgrading of economic transition. However, the majority of female students major in philosophy and social sciences, reducing their employment opportunities.
Finally, the policy of 'giving priority to male students' is penetrating the labor market, further enlarging the employment pressures for female graduates.
- The implementation of China's universal two-child policy increases employment pressures for female students.
In order to simply pursue economic benefits, some employers have set up gender barriers in the process of recruitment, leading to gender discrimination in employment.
- Prolonged maternity leave may worsen women's employment status.
The family planning authorities at all levels have begun to revise relevant regulations in succession after the implementation of China's universal two-child policy, extending maternity leave by as long as one to three months' for female employees on the basis of the 98 days leave mandated by the national law.
Some people expressed their doubts around the prolonged maternity leave, as it may increase the risk that female job-seekers confront discrimination, further aggravating the hidden gender discrimination in the job market, although the policies are established from the perspective of better protecting women.
- The change of parenting patterns also brings challenges for working women.
Due to refined parenting patterns, imperfect daycare services and the influence of alleviating the burden of education for students, some working mothers have to spend more time on their children's education, affecting their working hours and efficiency.
Female university students, as an important part of China's economic and social development, should attain economic independence through employment, and this requires cooperation between the government, employers and students themselves, with a view to creating a harmonious and win-win social environment.
The author is Wang Hui, from Fujian Jiangxia University.
(Source: Chinese Social Sciences Today / Translated and edited by Gender Study Network)
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