Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Women in China Moving Forward: Progress, Challenges and Reflections

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Abstract:  While China’s socialist revolution has been credited with improving the status of women, gender inequality remains. Drawing on macro data, this article provides an overview of gender equality in China, focusing on labor force and political participation in the past 70 years, particularly since 1978, the onset of socioeconomic reform. Specifically, the article describes, compares, and examines the progress and challenges that women face in accessing economic opportunities and political resources. We find a more equal relationship between male and female when resources are relatively adequate, but that females are disadvantaged when resources are scarce, for example, including representation in more prestigious occupations, higher income, and political positions. These findings illustrate how inequality is maintained and reproduced, and suggest that despite China’s progressive socialist agenda, its gender revolution remains ‘stalled.’

Keywords:  China; gender inequality; labor force participation; political participation; resources; women



© Juhua Yang. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.