Women’s Rights At Risk


While reading additional articles about China’s ‘leftover women,’ I found an article that discusses the status of women and the progression from their traditional roles as females since the Mao regime.  Progress, however, is not being made currently in China.  “Women’s Rights At Risk” written by Leta Hong Fincher illustrates the hardships experienced by young women who have been dubbed ‘leftover’ by men and the media.  The consequences that several women face as a result of their independence include verbal and physical abuse from their male partners.  The Mao era was supposed to be a move in the right direction for women and their status in society, as they grow more and more independent and no longer reliant on men.  “Overcoming traditional forms of male-female inequality” was unfortunately put on the back burner and is considered a “revolutionary goal” that was never achieved (Fincher, 2).  “Skyrocketing home prices, a resurgence of traditional gender norms, a state media campaign pressuring educated young women to marry, and legal setbacks—has contributed to a fall in the status and material well-being of Chinese women relative to men” (Fincher, 2).  Though the Marriage Law instituted in 1950 guaranteed women property rights, the revised Marriage Law in 2011 now gives the property rights to the person who owns the home, and in most cases, the legal owner is a man.

In this particular article, Wu Mei is a thirty-one year old accomplished woman who earns “around one million RMB (roughly $150,000) a year as an attorney in Beijing, a salary that likely places her in the top 1 percent income bracket in China.”  She is one of the richest women in China, yet instead of being celebrated, her husband heartlessly abuses her, forcing her to file for divorce as a way to escape something he claims Wu “brought on herself.”  These kind of instances are all too common in China as a result of the society’s progressive globalization and move away from traditional customs.


FINCHER, LETA HONG. “Women’s Rights At Risk.” Dissent (00123846) 60.2 (2013): 36-40. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

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