Women in China
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Women in China

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  • It was during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.) that Confucianism was adopted as the government's state doctrine, with his thoughts becoming part of official education. origins and justifications in the rules set by Confucius in his analects. 
  • The first two relationships make sense because authority guides student, but when the relationship is between two equals it doesn’t make sense anymoreDoesn’t even have authority over her son 
  • Double standards are evident
  • Wu Zetian, she is said to have been the most influential leader and laid the pathway for the life of Chinese women today.The Tang dynasty (618-906 AD) was a time of relative freedom for women. They did not bind their feet nor lead submissive lives. It was a time in which a number of exceptional women contributed in the areas of culture and politics. 
  • It was finally outlawed in the 1911 Revolution of Sun Yat-Sen
  • Foot binding Foot binding - the toes were pushed under the foot. The practice was developed to limit girl's freedom, by crippling their feet in early childhood. Over several years of excruciating pain, the child's toes were pushed into her insole, until the bones twisted or broke, making a "new" foot shape which was small and difficult to walk on. It was done by tightly binding the foot with lengths of fabric around which a cloth shoe was sown on, to stop the child from taking it off.The small feet were considered beautiful, but the beauty was really in what the feet represented: the subjugation and enslavement of women. Women with bound feet were weak, inferior, dependent physically and financially, and unable to run far away if abused in other ways.Almost all Chinese girls had their feet crippled, and the custom continued for about a thousand years. 
  • meaning there has been little or no space  present for an individuality.Within this context women had no rights of their own besides the right to marry, and provide childbirth. looked upon as being mere property destined for relocation from their natal family to that of another as wives, concubines, or children for betrothal or laborers. Women’s contributions to their original family were seen as being near to nothing in “the way of enhancing their [familiy] state status, increasing their wealth, or providing for their care in old age.”“The family was a residential and economic unit composed of males….forced to import women as brides, and it disposed of females born to it by marrying them off to other families”( Baker, 24 ). 
  • Raised concerns and problems, discussed on the next slide
  • Patriarchy is engrained in the structure of society and because the women did not come to dicover feminist ideas on their own, the strucute of the society was not altered or even questioned at this point
  • The education act was not about womens rights, it was done to make the nation stronger and the men who supported this act did not do it for womens rights
  • In 1949 the Peoples Republic of China was established after the chinese civil war and conditions for women began to improve in material, legal and social terms
  • In social terms, women are protected under the constitution (read)
  • Although this was a positive change, biology was used against women to say they were “inferior” or needed special treatment because of reporductivecapabilites. Many employers chose not to hire women because of this.
  • feminist concerns came to be included under the class struggle traditionally male dominated power structures were never addressedgender became neutral and women moved into more traditionally male positions and femininity was de-emphasizedirony in this supposed equality was that as women joined male labor in an effort for equality but men didn’t share in the burdens of household work led to a double burden for the women who ventured into labor beyond the householdthe power structure of patriarchy and patterns of the past and engrained in the culture and hinder gender equality
  • Domestic violence is still widely reported and trafficking in women and children, especially girls, is a regular occurrence.
  • China has highest rate of female suicide in the world , and is highest among rural women.
  • force the workers to work long hours under substandard conditions for very little pay Millions of these laborers are young migrant women who have fled the farms in order to survivedenied access to housing, education and health careBecause they work in the informal economy, these women are not covered by labor contracts and have no enforceable rights
  • 1922: China: Foot binding is abolished, after having handicapped women's feet since ca 1010.1920: China: The first female students are accepted in the Peking University, soon followed by universities all over China 1947 right to vote with restrictions •1950--Marriage Law (women won freedom to marry and divorce for first time)•1950--Land Reform (women won right to own property and land)•1953--Women won right to vote7 million women employed, ten times than 1949, -- •1958with equal payRapid growth of women leaders in government -- •1966and model worker

Women in China Women in China Presentation Transcript

  • Women in China
    Sarah Deininger
  • A Look at History: The Han Dynasty
    The early Chinese had no real commitment to subordination of women, however over time Confucian teachings were interpreted to demonstrate this.
    Neoconfucianinterpretations of male-dominance was founded in Confucian teachings
    Confucian structure of society
    women at every level were to occupy a position lower than men
    subservience of women to men seen as natural and proper
  • The Patriarchal Order
    Traditional Guides
    Ruler guides Subject
    Father guides Son
    Husband guides Wife
    The Confucianism Order
    women must obey their father, husband and sons
    gives women no real authority
  • Men v. Women in Ancient China
    Men:
    Permitted to have premarital sex without scandal
    Have concubines if they could afford it
    Remarrying if one or more of their wives dies or just because they feel like it
    Laws created that favored male inheritance, divorce and familial interactions
    Women: Servant to her Husband
    Homemaker/mother, bearer of sons
    Confined to the house
    Never to remarry (received the death penalty if she did)
    Live up to husbands expectations
    Excluded from education that allows them to rise to civil services or political positions
  • The Tang Dynasty: One Step Forward
    The Tang Dynasty (618AD-907AD)
    most progressive Dynasty for women
    land distribution
    mutual divorce
    women could remarry
    access to education
    social restrictions were lifted
    Empress Wu Zetian624-705
    only female Empress in China’s history from the Tang Dynasty
    her influence went beyond her rule, extending to modern day women’s rights in China
  • Tang Dynasty Continued: Two Steps Back
    In the late Tang Dynasty, emperors found beauty in the tiny feet of dancers
    Gradually spread through the upper class during the Song Dynasty (960-1297)
    During the Ming period (1368-1644) and the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911) the custom of foot binding spread through the overwhelming majority of the Chinese population .
    It was finally outlawed in1911
  • Foot binding
  • Family
    Ideal family:
    family under one roof
    multiple generations
    oldest living male as the head
    sons with wives
    grandsons with their wives and children
    this family structure has been the primary contributing factor to the subjugation of women throughout China’s history
  • Early Feminism
    China’s first experiences with feminism were not historical and cultural developments in which women consciously became aware inequality between men and women
    it was the influence of a western concept onto an uneducated society
  • Problems for feminism
     Can western feminism find a place within a society where power structures have not been altered to the degree as they have been in the west?
    Traditionally, in China the family defined ones existence, leaving no room for individuality
  • Education Act
    1907
    Tried to bring education to women
    women’s issues were bundled under quests for national strengthening and nation building
  • People’s Republic of China
    since the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China, in 1949, the conditions for women have improved in material, legal and social terms
  • Women protected in Constitution
    The Chinese constitution states: "Women in the People's Republic of China enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of life, political, economic, cultural, social, and family life."
    not always practiced on the streets, homes and workplaces
  • Marital Law- 1950
    put an end to traditional practices such as:
    arranged marriage, polygamy, the sale of daughters, childhood concubinage
    Allowed for expanded experience for women
    encouraged to move into the labor force as equals to men.
    educational opportunities and vocational training now open to women
  • 1980s –
    health care facilities, childcare centers, and other women related initiatives to provide for mothers and pregnant women in the work place
    crimes of rape, incitation of prostitution, and female abduction became offences that could lead to capital punishment
  • Problems
    laws not easily incorporated into the lives of people and community
    Marriage Law of 1950
     
    Cultural Revolution
    Cultural Context
  • Modern Day Chinese Women:Laws and “Birth Control”
    women have gained equality in education, marriage, rights and freedoms, but in many villages and rural areas, these laws are ignored
    In an effort to curb the ever growing population, the government devised a law in 1970 that restricted women to having one child
  • Modern Day:Effects of Child Regulation
    Due to Confucian tradition, boys have always been valued more than girls
    Female newborns are often killed or abandoned. Abortion is encouraged.
    Since 1997, hundreds of "mobile abortion clinics" have roamed the countryside. Women are forced to submit to abortions or sterilization after a birth has occurred, by local authorities, anxious to adhere to the one-child family ideal.
  • Modern Day:Working Chinese Women
    In China today women workers predominate in the fields of agriculture, banking, textile work, and export manufacturing.
    Many farms are worked by women.
    about 100 million women working in isolated conditions on large plots of land for about $1 a day.
    Suicide rates
  • Working cont’d
    South east China's urban centers contain many sweatshop operations
    government presently bars migrants from securing legal residency,
    child labor, long hours, low pay, no benefits, hazardous conditions
  • Conclusion:
    In regards to women’s rights, China has made strides towards equality for men and women, however there is still more to be accomplished
  • References
    http://www.chinavoc.com/history/tang/women.htm
    http://www.helium.com/items/1328220-womens-rights-in-china?page=2
    http://chinamodern01.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/negotiating-gender-in-modern-china-western-feminism-and-tradition-in-china/