Women’s Rights in China

Dramatic changes in women’s rights have been achieved in a culture where for millennia women were stereotyped as inferior to men, had no rights and served as slaves, concubines and prostitutes. Marriages were arranged—sometimes at infancy.

In 1949, foot binding was abolished and the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) was formed and supported by the Communist Party. Change in China, as in the United States, has been a painful evolutionary process. However, the struggle to gain equality appears to have moved faster than the United States where the women’s rights movement started in 1848 and still isn’t over.

10th National Women’s Congress in China

At the 10th National Women’s Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in 2008, Deputy-Chairwoman Huang Qingyi said, “Sex discrimination in employment should be eradicated and the income gap between men and women should be further narrowed.”

It was also been reported that domestic violence is a severe threat to women. Chinese authorities reported 50,000 complaints annually, according to figures released by the ACWF. The domestic violence fact sheet shows this is also a problem in the United States.

Sexual discrimination was supposed to have been abolished in China back in 1949, when Chairman Mao Zedong famously announced, “women hold up half the sky”, but it wasn’t.  It has only been a few years since China outlawed sexual harassment.

Today, statistics show China has about 27,000 women and children’s rights protection agencies.

Discover Changing Times for Women’s Rights


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

7 Responses to Women’s Rights in China

  1. […] There is also the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) that was established in 1949 when the CCP legally made women equal to men for the first time in China’s history.  I wrote about that in Women’s Rights in China. […]

  2. […] This revised and edited post first appeared on March 21, 2010 Rate this: Share this:TwitterMoreEmailPrintDiggStumbleUponRedditLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first […]

  3. Eduardo says:

    I dont understand the goverment is working to make that happen right then. Why don’t they do it right now? I have been in China. I havent seen anything that you have just said!>:(

    • Eduardo, I’m not sure what you are saying. Just because you haven’t seen something, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

      I’ve been to China many times and haven’t seen everything that is going on.

      China has more than 1.3 billion people and covers an area close to the size if the US.

      I don’t even see all that goes on in America.

      However, it’s happening. I know enough Chinese people to know that the Communist Party, for all its faults, has done more for women’s rights in China than anyone else ever did in history.

      Consider that women were once the property of men in China for several thousand years then in 1949, Mao says women are equal to men and today women own property, run successful businesses and have important positions in the government.

      In fact, I believe that Chinese women now have more rights than most women in Asia including Japan. How many women in Japan hold important position in government? I could ask the same question of Thailand or Singapore.

  4. […] government is working to make that happen—that journey started in 1949, when Mao said, “Women hold up half the sky.” It isn’t easy overcoming several thousand years of […]

  5. […] My Response, There is also the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF).  I wrote about that at Women’s Rights in China. […]

  6. Although I fumbled around with Blogs for months, I launched iLook China on January 28, 2010 and started writing and posting three times a day with almost 600 posts so far. My goal is to reach 1,000 before slowing down.

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