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Gender equality awareness

Updated: 2013-10-29 07:18
( China Daily)

The protection of women's rights and interests can never be overestimated despite the progress that has been made.

This progress was outlined at the opening of the 11th National Congress of Women on Monday. In terms of women's participation in political life, the proportion of women among deputies to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the 12th National People's Congress has increased 2.9 and 2.07 percentage points compared with five years ago. Their proportion among members of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference has risen 0.18 percentage points. Women account for 51 percent of all college students and 48 percent of all graduates in the mainland.

Gender equality awareness

Three men crawl on the ground while chained by a woman during a publicity stunt in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, on Feb 8, 2012. The art majors called for respect for women by the performance. [Photo/CFP]

However, gender discrimination still exists in a wide range of areas, and so do violations of women's rights and interests.

Such discrimination is particularly conspicuous among employers. Male applicants often have a better chance of being hired than their female counterparts even when the latters' credentials are better than the former. The same is true for promotion in many companies.

There are laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination against women, but it is a matter of public awareness, the awareness of the equal rights and interests of women.

With such awareness, decision-makers need never think whether an applicant is a women or not, but rather take into consideration the credentials and competence of the applicant when it comes to promoting or recruiting an employee.

With such awareness, a decision-maker will naturally give enough thought to whether the rights and interests of women are being infringed upon when hiring or promoting them.

Oftentimes, many hire a less qualified male applicant rather than a female applicant, because they think female employees will tend to spend more time on babies and families.

How women's social status is and how their rights and interests are protected is a benchmark of a country's social progress. When women's rights and interests are well protected and they have the social status they are entitled to, they will be able to develop a sense of independence when it comes to family life and their careers, and they will make more contributions to society.

The current women's national congress should stimulate such awareness.

(China Daily 10/29/2013 page8)