Half the Sky
Edited by Cherlyn Skromme Granrose
Chapter 3: National Policy Influence on Women’s Careers in the People’s Republic of China
3. National policy inﬂuence on women’s careers in the People’s Republic of China Yong-Qing Fang, Cherlyn Skromme Granrose and Rita V. Kong (Mei Hui Jiang) The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the ancient motherland of Chinese people throughout the world, and as such, plays a particular cultural role in shaping careers of Chinese women in many other nations. However PRC also is unique because it alone bears the history of a socialist government for the past half-century. This chapter outlines the characteristics of PRC as they inﬂuence particularly the women who live within its borders. The description, following the theoretical outline for international study of careers (Granrose, 1997), examines the national level of analysis. The chapter begins with an overview of the general situation that aﬀects careers in China, then describes the particular aspects of Chinese legislation and policy that pertain to women. NATIONAL CAREER FACTORS China has 9.6 million sq km of land area that slopes toward the east from the Tibet high plateau and lower western deserts across the interior loess plateau and lower mountain ranges to the broad coastal river deltas. Only 108 million hectares are cultivatable, mainly in the northern plains and interior river valleys, however some uncultivated land contains deposits of the world’s third-largest mineral resources. The total human resources of China are over 1.26 billion people (see Table 3.1), most of them living an agricultural life in rural areas (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2001). The way China allocates...
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