Books

11.30.17

Finding Women in the State

Wang Zheng
Finding Women in the State is a provocative hidden history of socialist state feminists maneuvering behind the scenes at the core of the Chinese Communist Party. These women worked to advance gender and class equality in the early People’s Republic and fought to transform sexist norms and practices, all while facing fierce opposition from a male-dominated Chinese Communist Party leadership, from the local level to the central level. Wang Zheng extends this investigation to the cultural realm, showing how feminists within China’s film industry were working to actively create new cinematic heroines, and how they continued a New Culture anti-patriarchy heritage in socialist film production. This book illuminates not only the different visions of revolutionary transformation but also the dense entanglements among those in the top echelon of the Party. Wang discusses the causes for failure of China’s socialist revolution and raises fundamental questions about male dominance in social movements that aim to pursue social justice and equality. This is the first book engendering the People’s Republic of China high politics and has important theoretical and methodological implications for scholars and students working in gender studies as well as China studies. —University of California Press{chop}

More Women Are in Hong Kong’s Prisons Than Anywhere Else. They Should Be Protected, Not Criminalized

Yenni Kwok
Guardian
Hong Kong and Macau, two cities associated with wealth and riches, hold a dubious distinction in the justice system: they put women behind bars at a shockingly high proportion. Women comprise 20.8% of Hong Kong’s prison population, while in...

Viewpoint

06.05.17

China Has a New Domestic Violence Law. So Why Are Victims Still Often Unsafe?

Su Lin Han
In rural Hunan province, about two hours from the city of Changsha, a young woman named Zhang Meili married a violent man. According to local police, Zhang had trouble coping with her husband’s strong sexual appetite and he became jealous and...

I Went to Jail for Handing out Feminist Stickers in China

Li Maizi
Guardian
The backlash is painful, but it coexists with progress as women activists manage—slowly—to bring about a change in attitudes

Media

01.28.17

China’s Feminists Go to Washington

Kim Wall
Zhang Ling was dressed like a revolutionary from the Spanish Civil War. With a long braid emerging from a scarlet beret and clad in trousers a color she described as “communist red,” Zhang had driven her Honda from her home in upstate New York the...

With Fertility Rate in China Low, Some Press to Legalize Births Outside Marriage

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Underlying the debate over reproductive rights is China’s low fertility rate of 1.05 children per woman, revealed in the mini-census last year

For Chinese Women, a Surname is Her Name

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
Keeping a surname is not an expression of marital equality, but of powerful patriarchal values. A married woman continued to be identified by her father’s lineage.

The People in Retreat

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Ai Xiaoming is one of China’s leading documentary filmmakers and political activists. Since 2004, she has made more than two dozen films, many of them long, gritty documentaries that detail citizen activism or uncover whitewashed historical events...

China's 'Leftover Women': What It's Really Like Being Unmarried at 30

Yuan Ren
Telegraph
I want to enjoy going to a wedding without hearing "and when will you be getting married?”...

Media

02.04.16

Seeking Justice for China’s ‘Underage Prostitutes’

Four and a half years ago in a small village on the outskirts of the coastal city of Yingkou in northern China, a woman stopped a 12-year-old girl outside the child’s school and lured her into a car. “If you don’t come with me, I will beat you every...

Books

12.16.15

One Child

Mei Fong
When Communist Party leaders adopted the one-child policy in 1980, they hoped curbing birth-rates would help lift China’s poorest and increase the country’s global stature. But at what cost? Now, as China closes the book on the policy after more than three decades, it faces a population grown too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers.Mei Fong has spent years documenting the policy’s repercussions on every sector of Chinese society. In One Child, she explores its true human impact, traveling across China to meet the people who live with its consequences. Their stories reveal a dystopian reality: unauthorized second children ignored by the state, only-children supporting aging parents and grandparents on their own, villages teeming with ineligible bachelors, and an ungoverned adoption market stretching across the globe. Fong tackles questions that have major implications for China’s future: whether its “Little Emperor” cohort will make for an entitled or risk-averse generation; how China will manage to support itself when one in every four people is over sixty-five years old; and above all, how much the one-child policy may end up hindering China’s growth.Weaving in Fong’s reflections on striving to become a mother herself, One Child offers a nuanced and candid report from the extremes of family planning. —Houghton Mifflin Harcourt{chop}

Caixin Media

12.14.15

Lack of Clear Policy Direction on Two-Child Rule Leaves Nation Guessing

Regional family-planning officials say the lack of clarity on when the new two-child rule will come into effect has put them in legal limbo, unable to issue birth permits to couples who conceive a second child before the new policy kicks in, leading...

Amartya Sen: Women’s Progress Outdid China’s One-Child Policy

AMARTYA SEN
New York Times
The abandonment of the one-child policy in China is a momentous change.

Feminism With Chinese Characteristics

David Volodzko
Diplomat
China is making progress on women’s issues, but anyone trying to publicize remaining issues faces a serious backlash.

On U.S. Visit, China’s Xi Jinping Tries to Have It Both Ways

ANDREW BROWNE
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Xi Jinping often seemed caught between two audiences—his skeptical hosts who needed gentle reassurance and the crowd back home who admire his firm rule and tough nationalism.

China Angered By Hillary Clinton Tweet on Women's Rights

Tessa Wong
BBC
China has reacted furiously at Hillary Clinton's recent comments about China's record on women's rights...

China Defends Xi Visit to U.N. Forum Despite Activists' Detention

BEN BLANCHARD AND MEGHA RAJAGOPALAN
Reuters
President Xi's attendance at a U.N. women's summit, brushing off concern about its detention of women activists in March...

Xi Turns Back the Clock on Women’s Rights in China

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Although it is unthinkable today, two decades ago 30,000 women from around the world converged outside Beijing to promote a host of social and political causes.

Media

06.26.15

A Chinese Feminist, Made in America

Nancy Tang
In August 2010, two weeks after turning 18, I traveled about 6,700 miles from Beijing, China to attend Amherst, a liberal-arts college in Massachusetts in the northeastern United States. I packed a copy of Harvard economist N. Gregory Mankiw’s...

Why is China's Female Prison Population Growing?

Celia Hatton
BBC
Women comprise just 6.3% of China's prison population. If trends continue, within five years, China will imprison more women than the United States...

A Bittersweet Reprieve for Chinese Woman Who Killed Abusive Husband

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The verdict left lawyers and activists doubtful of the Chinese legal system’s ability to protect women. 

Media

04.15.15

Online Support–and Mockery–Await Chinese Feminists After Release

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On April 13, Chinese authorities released on bail five feminist activists detained for over a month without formal charges. Despite tight censorship surrounding their detention, support on Chinese social media and thinly veiled media criticism...

Conversation

03.18.15

Dark Days for Women in China?

Rebecca E. Karl, Leta Hong Fincher & more
With China’s recent criminal detention of five feminist activists, gender inequality in China is back in the spotlight. What does a crackdown on Chinese women fighting for equal representation say about the current state of the nation’s political...

Excerpts

03.16.15

The Education of Detained Chinese Feminist Li Tingting

Eric Fish
It is probably fair to say no woman has ever taken more flak for walking into a men’s room than Li Tingting. In the run-up to Women’s Day in 2012, the feminist college student was distressed by the one-to-one ratio of public restroom facilities for...

China Celebrates International Women’s Day By Arresting Women’s Rights Activists

Matthew Sheehan
Huffington Post
Many women’s rights groups activists who also work on LGBT issues have gone into hiding.

American Film On A Tibetan Migrant Finds Unlikely Success In China

Frank Langfitt
NPR
Journalist Jocelyn Ford spent years documenting the life of Zanta, a Tibetan migrant who fled her poor, mountain village to build a life for herself and her son in Beijing.

Sinica Podcast

12.05.14

Domestic Abuse in China

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
It doesn’t take a lot of time in China to see household violence play out in supermarkets, in schools, or even in the streets. But exactly how common is domestic violence in China? In the face of recent evidence from Peking University that more than...

Features

11.06.14

No Women Need Apply

Lijia Zhang
“Applicants limited to male.” 23-year-old job-hunter Huang Rong (not her real name) noticed this line in a job announcement only after she had heard nothing from the recruiter and gone back to check the advertisement online. She had graduated from...

Books

07.31.14

Leftover Women

Leta Hong Fincher
A century ago, Chinese feminists fighting for the emancipation of women helped spark the Republican Revolution, which overthrew the Qing empire. After China's Communist revolution of 1949, Chairman Mao famously proclaimed that "women hold up half the sky." In the early years of the People's Republic, the Communist Party sought to transform gender relations with expansive initiatives such as assigning urban women jobs in the planned economy. Yet those gains are now being eroded in China's post-socialist era. Contrary to many claims made in the mainstream media, women in China have experienced a dramatic rollback of many rights and gains relative to men.Leftover Women debunks the popular myth that women have fared well as a result of post-socialist China's economic reforms and breakneck growth. Laying out the structural discrimination against women in China will speak to broader problems with China's economy, politics, and development.—Zed Books {chop}

Reports

03.07.13

Between the Lines: Listening to Female Factory Workers in China

BSR
Women are crucial to China’s manufacturing sector. While women comprise more than 44% of the overall workforce, they represent about 60% of workers who migrate from rural areas to cities to work in factories. These female workers are diverse, with...

Chinese elite politics: It's still a man's world

Alexa Olesen
Associated Press
It's easier for a Chinese woman to orbit Earth than land a spot atop Chinese politics...

Sinica Podcast

06.01.12

All-Sinica Federation of Women

Mary Kay Magistad & Leta Hong Fincher from Sinica Podcast
Considering that this was the week Zhang Ziyi found her name dragged through the mud on the Bo Xilai scandal, there couldn’t be a more topical subject for Sinica than the double standards that are often applied to women in China, and the way Chinese...

Reports

04.01.01

Women and Land Tenure in China: A Study of Women’s Land Rights in Dongfang County, Hainan Province

Jennifer Duncan, Li Ping
Landesa
This report discusses women’s rights to land in China. The report is based on field research conducted in January 2000 in the city of Dongfang in the Hainan Province. It finds that granting women in China legal rights to land is unlikely to...