Netizens Say Childbearing Top Reason for Employment Gender Discrimination

December 5, 2013
Editor: Sun Xi
Netizens Say Childbearing Top Reason for Employment Gender Discrimination
Over 40 percent of Chinese netizens believe that the time cost of childbearing is the top reason why employers are reluctant to hire women, according to an online survey of 1,845 participants. [shanbeiguancha.com]
Over 40 percent of Chinese netizens believe that the time cost of childbearing is the top reason why employers are reluctant to hire women, according to an online survey of 1,845 participants.

The survey was conducted by China.org.cn and China Mainland Marketing Research Company on December 3, 2013.

Over 90 percent of respondents said they or their friends have encountered gender discrimination and 85.3 percent said gender discrimination mostly victimizes women.

The survey also shows that women across different age groups (21-30, 31-40 and 41-50) and from different educational backgrounds encounter gender discrimination equally.

Up to 43.3 percent said women taking time off to have children is the top reason employers are reluctant to hire them and 35.2 percent said some of the jobs entail frequent traveling and socializing, which is not suitable for women. Fewer participants chose the options 'Women's dedication to work will weaken after marrying' and 'The influence of the traditional thinking that women are inferior to men consolidates the discrimination towards women.'

Wang Li, a human resource specialist with a foreign company in Soochow, in east China's Jiangsu Province, said: "As a job seeker, I also encountered discrimination. Some of the employers asked me whether I had a boyfriend or when I planned to get married. But now I understand a little better where they are coming from. Purely from a profit-making perspective, I also prefer male job candidates."

Li Jian, a general manager from an advertising company in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province, agreed. "Once a female employee gets pregnant, we have to give her months of paid leave and insurance. We also have to pay for someone to do her job as well. It is a huge cost to a small company like mine."

He added that he believed women would not be as dedicated to their jobs as they had to balance work and family duties.

The survey shows that 81.4 percent of women choose to keep silent about discrimination and 49.8 percent said it is hard to find evidence in these cases.

"We need to guarantee women's rights on a legal basis but we also need to make sure that the companies don't bear all the costs of hiring women," Li said. "For instance, the government can consider tax exemptions to give companies incentive to hire women."

In 2012, China saw its first lawsuit case against apparent gender discrimination in job recruitment. The litigation was launched by a Beijing graduate named Cao Ju who applied to Juren School, a private training institute. The institute turned her down, saying that they only wanted to recruit male candidates for Cao's applied post.

Cao decided to sue the institute for gender discrimination after getting legal assistance from a local lawyer's office. In addition, several girls who had similar experiences also lent a helping hand to Cao's case and jointly called on women victims to protest against gender discrimination. She ultimately won the case.

Social discrimination against women should be eliminated by recognizing the physiological differences between men and women, says Professor Tan Lin, director of the Women's Studies Institute of China (WSIC) under the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF).

Tan made the statement while reviewing the work report presented by Vice President and First Member of the Secretariat of the ACWF Song Xiuyan at the opening ceremony of the 11th National Women's Congress of China on October 28, 2013.

Tan stated that women account for nearly 50 percent of employed people but that they tend to hold lower positions than men. To address this, a program has been carried out to study the development paths of women talents and how current policies can better facilitate women's development.

(Source: ce.cn/Translated and edited by womenofchina.cn)

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