The World Economic Forum has released the 2012 edition of it’s annual Global Economic Gender Gap Report (pdf). China is ranked 69th of 135 countries (lower number = more equal), mainly due to the huge gender gap within the CPC.
Measured by labour force participation and wage equality, the Chinese gender gap is at a similar level to that of the United States. However, there are very few women in positions of authority (0.20 compared to 0.74 in the US) both within business and industry, and particularly in the political sphere, with barely any women in ministerial roles.
The lack of female representation in the CPC has been a consistent problem since its inception. As we reported earlier this month, it’s easier for Chinese women to become astronauts than members of the Standing Committee. Liu Yandong, the one woman with even an outside chance of elevation to the top ranks of the Chinese leadership, did not appear on the leaked (all male) line-up of the next Standing Committee.
Progress towards closing the Chinese gender gap has been slow but steady. Within Asia, China actually possesses a markedly more equal society than its neighbours, Japan and Korea came in at a woeful 101st and 108th respectively. Were steps taken to ensure women are better represented in managerial and executive roles, China would have a similar rank to that of the UK (18) or the USA (22).
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