China women

New Politburo Standing Committee members Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi arrive to meet the media following the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 23 October 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Unlike Taiwan, mainland China lacks top women leaders

Taiwanese academic Chang-Ling Huang explains the importance of gender quota laws in pushing forward women’s representation in politics, observing that while China and Japan have had poor women political representation, Taiwan has managed to be a bright spot in East Asia.
A man wearing a face mask following the Covid-19 outbreak walks past a Chinese flag in Shanghai, China, 2 August 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Female representation in the Chinese leadership: Countdown to CCP's 20th Party Congress

Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, notes that while the Mao-era slogan of "women hold up half the sky" is often repeated, only one woman serves on the current 25-member Politburo (4%), and no woman has ever served on the Politburo Standing Committee, the supreme decision-making body in the country. He asks: what are the prospects for women leaders at the 20th Party Congress? Who are the prominent female candidates for the upper echelons of the CCP leadership? 
Cartoon: Heng Kim Song

ThinkCartoon

Heng Kim Song has been the freelance editorial cartoonist

The Tangshan incident revealed that the gangsters' violence derives from the age-old patriarchal ideology pervading Tangshan to some extent. (Illustration: Lorna Wei)

A personal account of Tangshan's dreadful societal culture

The Tangshan assault case unearths deeper societal issues such as an insidious guanxi culture that has condoned the practice of turning a blind eye. Worse, ordinary folk no longer even bat an eyelid at such “norms” anymore. When that happens, is the recent violence enough to jolt society and the authorities to do things differently?
Two women lie on the ground after being assaulted by a group of men outside a restaurant in the city of Tangshan, China, 10 June 2022, in this screen grab taken from surveillance footage obtained by Reuters on 12 June 2022. (Video obtained by Reuters)

Chinese public safety fears rise after Tangshan assault case

The violent beating of a group of women on 9 June in Hebei province’s Tangshan has sparked an outcry for the safety of the public. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that the attack has also brought to light the underworld of organised crime in the city, despite the central government’s crackdown. Will justice be served?
Liu Yang is China's first female astronaut in space, and a prominent member of the Shenzhou-14 crew. (CNS)

China’s Shenzhou-14 crewed mission: Mother of two an astronaut in space

China’s Shenzhou-14 spacecraft launched on 5 June, with the three astronauts on board taking on a six-month stint in space. Among them, the greatest focus has been on Liu Yang, China’s first woman in space and a vice-president of the All-China Women's Federation. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan tells us more about this prominent astronaut.
People walk at a shopping mall complex in Beijing, China, on 16 April 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Why swear words derogating women have proliferated on the Chinese internet

The use of “national swear” (国骂) in the Chinese language has been a topic of discussion for the past century, with its derogatory nature towards women long known. From seemingly harmless insults to women’s intelligence to malicious debasing of female ancestors, why is the use of such language still prevalent on the internet today?
Men in China's rural areas find themselves in a tough situation when it comes to marriage. (Noel Celis/AFP)

When millions of rural Chinese men are desperate for a wife

In China’s rural areas, despite traditional pressures to get married, young men are finding themselves in a difficult position as the high gender imbalance has led to a short supply of marriageable women. Furthermore, men who are not well-off cannot find wives, with many of the women looking to marry men with better prospects in other towns and cities as a means of upward social mobility. These social problems have led to the abduction and trafficking of women in rural China. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong visits some villages to find out more about these crimes.
This file photo taken on 25 April 2021 shows a medical staff member taking care of a newborn baby in the paediatric ward of a hospital in Fuyang in China's eastern Anhui province. (AFP)

China wants to reverse its high abortion rate with pro-birth policies, and young women are not happy

As a result of the country’s now-abolished one-child policy and other factors, abortion has gained wide acceptance among women in China. A recent work plan by the national family planning unit stated its intention to “intervene” in abortions for unmarried women has sparked backlash that women would lose their reproductive autonomy. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong speaks with researchers and Chinese women to understand the policy implications on women’s rights and how the issue will impact China’s shrinking birth rate.