Handbook on Gender and Social Policy
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Handbook on Gender and Social Policy

Edited by Sheila Shaver

Providing a state of the art overview, this comprehensive Handbook is an essential introduction to the subject of Gender and Social Policy. Bringing together original contributions and research from leading researchers it covers the theoretical perspectives of the field, the central policy terrain of gender inequalities of income, employment and care, and family policy. Examining gender and social policy at both the regional and national level, the Handbook is an excellent resource for advanced students and scholars of sociology, political science, women’s studies, policy studies as well as practitioners seeking to understand how gender shapes the contours of social policy and politics.
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Chapter 24: Women and care in China

Megan Blaxland, Xiaoyuan Shang and Karen R. Fisher


The chapter addresses the gendered impact of Chinese social policies on the well-being of disadvantaged groups by examining empirical data in key policy areas of income support, disability services and aged care. The three case study social groups examined in the analysis are widowed mothers in rural areas, young women with disabilities in state care transitioning to adulthood and aged care for older women in rural China. Applying an ethic of care framework, we find that there are many women who do not have the supports they need to give and receive care. Instead, they find themselves in a space between customary supports and new forms of social assistance for care. Addressing this gender inequality would require policy change to support the redistribution of care to these disadvantaged girls and women in ways that would recognize their dignity and human rights.

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