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Feminism movement law essay

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Executive summary


Both China and Pakistan are developing countries and have been maintaining good, stable relationship. Feminism has always been the focus of all worlds’ attention from modern time. There are many researches about feminism movement in Pakistan, the same to China. But there are still few essays focus on the comparison of the feminism between the two developing countries. The essay focuses on the similarities and differences of women’s movement in both modern and contemporary China and Pakistan. In the process, the essay takes time as thread mainly and analyzes the feminism movement respectively in modern and contemporary China and Pakistan. Based on a lot of scholarly literature and information retrieved from internet, the essay also compared the women status in ancient time in the two countries which are helpful to find how the gender inequality generated and why it still exists today. Then find the reason why the feminism movement is different between the two countries.

Table of content

1.0  Introduction.............................................................................................................3

2.0  Feminism movement in modern China and Pakistan..............................................4

2.1 Feminism movement in modern China between 1949 and 1990........................4

2.2 Feminism movement in modern Pakistan between 1947and 1990......................5

2.3 Differences and similarities between modern China and Pakistan......................6

3.0 Contemporary feminist movement in China and Pakistan today.............................7

3.1 Contemporary feminist movement in China today...............................................7

3.2 Feminist movement in Pakistan today..................................................................8

4.0  Differences and similarities between China and Pakistan today.............................9

4.1 Differences and similarities between China and Pakistan....................................9

4.2 The reason why they are different today..............................................................9

5.0  Conclusion.............................................................................................................10

6.0 Reference................................................................................................................12

1.0  Introduction

Today, there is no country without the women's movement, and almost no government turned a deaf ear to women's demands. Traditional view of the status of women is disappearing, gender differences are diminishing. However, the phenomenon of discrimination against women still exists in most countries in the world. In 1980, the UN had carried on a summary of gender inequality phenomenon. The summary indicated that women are one half of the population in the world and undertook two-thirds of the work but earn just one-ten of the total income, with only one percent of the total amount of the property. Pakistan is one of the few Muslim countries in which woman broke into the profession, and even worked as prime minister, namely Benazir Bhutto. Some women entered into the educational circles, scientific community and health community. In addition, there are female pilots, female lawyers, bankers, officials, female judges, etc (Korson, 1985). So does China. The essay highlights the differences and similarities of feminism movement between China and Pakistan. In the process, the essay takes time as thread mainly and analyzes the feminism movement respectively in modern and contemporary China and Pakistan. Based on a lot of scholarly literature and information retrieved from internet, the essay also compared the women status in ancient time in the two countries which are helpful to find how the gender inequality generated and why it still exists today. Then find the reason why the feminism movement is different between the two countries.
 
2.0  Feminism movement in modern China and Pakistan

2.1 Feminism movement in modern China between 1949 and 1990

With the establishment of new China in 1949, the government put forward various policies to change the uncultured policies in the Old China, such as in the area of economy, education and general mood of social and so on. In the area of feminism movement, the government also introduced many policies to protect women’s right (Bauer, 1992). For example, the passed Joint Programme in 1949 defined that everyone is equal, both men and women have the right to vote. This is an important rule for Chinese for it established a guiding principle for the following gynaecocracy. More over, it had declared everyone had the right to receive education. In 1950, the first marriage law was published which expressly stipulated that the women has the equal right with men to marry or divorce. During the period of large scale production campaign, women were encouraged to join in and they actively devoted themselves in the campaign (Bauer, 1992).
 
All above list some examples to show the progress in feminism movement, but actually, because of the deep influence of feudal thought, although the new China has been established, the gender inequality and the discrimination to women still exist, especially in the field of education and occupation. The One Percent Population Survey in 1987 showed that in rural area in China, 48% of 45 years old males were unlettered compared with the 88% of females, and in urban area, the number was smaller, there were about 29% of males and 67% of females unlettered in that age (Farmer, 2003). No matter in rural area or urban area, less females are educated than males in spite of the ages and the areas. The reasons are complex but the main reason is that the thought that it is more useful to make the sons educated than daughters for the latter will be married with others, the parents cannot gain the same reward from son.  
 
Particularly worth mentioning is the Culture Revolution during the 1966 and 1976, the education system was damaged severely. From 1966 to 1972, the senor high schools cannot accept students because the revolution forced the intellectual to receive re-education from farmers. Luckily, due to the reform in 1978, the education system returned to normal and as a result, the females can receive more chance to receive education(Farmer, 2003).
Women’s education attainment has significant effect on their occupation. More and more jobs require education background. Take the 45 years old male in rural area for example again, 97% of the males in urban area are employed compared with 75% of females and the older the ages are, the wider the gap between the male and female will be. The reason is also almost the same, namely the trade-off of reward form sons and daughters.  
 
2.2 Feminism movement in modern Pakistan between 1947and 1990

The development of feminism movement in modern Pakistan is along with the governors’ policies carried out in the country. It is deeply affected by the region due to the strong Islamic culture content. For example, in 1977, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq started a coup and overturned the regime of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Korson, 1985). Since then, he carried out s series of radical Islamization with Saudi funding. He is a genuine dictator and tyrant and the discrimination to women peaked during his reign. Women were totally separated and they cannot leave the house unless necessary. The purdah was so strict that no one dared to violent it. The women were forced to wear veil or a chador when they went out, they must avert their eye when they carelessly looked the men’s eyes. Although the mobility of female in Pakistan is strict but there are also differences between the rural area and urban. In rural area, women were relatively free than in the urban, because they have to do farm work but they cannot leave the house unless pure necessary except the productive activities (Yousafzai, 2013) On the contrary, women in urban had not to work on farm, as a result, the activity space of them is more narrow, especially those of high social status. Another aspect of the gender inequality in Pakistan in this period was that the controversial laws published by Zia-ul-Haq. He expressly wrote the discrimination to women into a series of law which are based on the out-dated Islamic laws. For example, when a woman was ravished she cannot only gain comfort from the country and the compensation from the offender but also will be punished as the fornicator. This rule makes unnumbered women be in a dilemma not to mention the women’s education.

In 1988, Benazir Bhutto was elected to be the prime minister and it marked the start of the restoration of democracy. It is also true. Women were allowed to actively performed in the economy, but in political circles, there were still a lot of restriction.
 
2.3 Differences and similarities between modern China and Pakistan

From the description about the feminism movement in China and Pakistan, both countries have deep discrimination to women, they both have purdah which imposed a lot of limits to the activities of women. Beyond that, as women cannot leave their house, it means that they cannot receive education, they cannot communicate with others, what they can do is just the endless housework. They are not independent in both economy and personality. They are totally the accessory to men. The discrimination is even from their parents which though daughters are less available than sons, as a result, they are not willing to invest too much on the daughters’ education attainment. Fortunately, women in both two countries have been fighting for their right over time. It is just their effort that the government never can ignore the feminism issue. It is also their effort a series of laws on the protection of women’s right are published.

There are also differences of the feminism movement in the two countries, the most obvious point is that the way of reform of the women right. In China, since the establishment of new China, the government tended to change the institution of gender inequality and published a series of laws to implement their policy. The main resistance is from the ideology of the public. But in Pakistan, due to the faith to islam, women were education to endure the inequality from the society even they should endure the sexual assault from the men. In this sense, due to the Confucian culture, women’s status in China is higher that it in Pakistan. More over, since 1949, there are no governor like Zia ul haq in China which makes the reform of democracy on feminism movement easier.
 
3.0 Contemporary feminist movement in China and Pakistan today

3.1 Contemporary feminist movement in China today

After 1990, with the third wave of feminism movement all over the world, China also ushered in a new round of women’s movement. Based on the previous effort of the government and the women themselves during the fifty yeas since the establishment of new China, China has already been some good progress in women’s education and occupation (Evans, 1998). The anti-illiteracy compaign in 1950s changed the almost universal illiteracy of women. The reform of the educational system from 1978 allowed the women entering into senior high school. The implement of compulsory education law in 1990 eased the women’s burden and since then women’s education attainment develops rapidly. The number of educational women increases significantly. From a research in 1992, the enrollment rate of 7 years old to 11 yeas old girls has increased into 96.2% from less than 20% before liberation. The percentage of women in secondary school, university and graduate students reached 43.1%, 33.7% and 24.8% respectively (Littell-Lamb, 2012) And there had been 1149 women gained the doctor’s degree in 1993 which accounted for 9.4% of the total members of the doctors. After the realization of the four modernizations, the government focused on the training of the technical personnel and provided a lot of technical education, women also gained accomplishment in this respect. In 1993, there had been eight million and ninety-seven thousand female scientists and technicians which accounted for 35% of the total number. Until 1994, China had established 1699 women’s secondary vocational schools and three women’s vocational Universities. From the date it can be said women’s education has developed a lot after 1990s, but the total educational level of women is still far below the men’s (Evans, 1998). The number of illiterate women is also higher that men. The improvement of reform of education is a time-consuming project. It cannot be accomplished in a short time by pure training on women. It also depends on the enthusiasm and interest of women. The meaning of education for women does not only lie in the improvement of self-quality but also in the improvement of ideological and ethical standards which have remarkable effects on the women’s liberation.
 
With the reform and opening up and the reform of national economic system, women can generally gain jobs and they get more voice and say in the housework than before. In 1990, a sample survey about family financial management mode and the right of reproductive decisions in Shanghai indicated that the ratio of women managed and decided together with her husband was more than 70%, and the ratio of men managed and decided themselves was especially low than women’s (Littell-Lamb, 2012). It can be seen that women played more and more important role in the family and their decisions and advices were tended to be supported and agreed with their husbands. Women had got rid of the paternalistic marriage and family system and gained more equal treatment by the family. In addition, more and more women enter politics and hold important positions. Women actively perform in all walk of life.
 
3.2 Feminist movement in Pakistan today.

Due to Benazir Bhutto was elected to be the prime minister in 1988, Pakistan also began to publish a series of policies to protect women’s right, but the effect was so little because of the rejection from other political parties. In 1993, Benazir Bhutto was elected to be the prime minister again and this time she implemented policies to change the status quo of women’s right positively. She declared that there would be at least 5% of women accounted for the total members in the federal government ministries, and various departments and companies. She promised that the government to built training center to provide technical training to women, especially the computers and secretary training to promote the employment of women (Weiss, 1985).

Pakistan is implementing a plan aimed to improve the education, health care and social services of women. The program focuses on universal primary education, and its object is the rural girl in the first place. Its goal is to increase the female enrollment in rural primary school from 53% to 81%. Adult women's literacy is also on the agenda. Through various forms of education, Pakistan tends to make the literacy women increased from 25% to 40%. In terms of health care, women are also the focus, the government's goal is to reduce infant mortality from 8.6% to 6.5%, at the same time, the maternal mortality rate reduces from 0.3% to 0.15%, so women's life expectancy could be increased from 61.2 to 63.3 (Shehrbano, 2009).
Although the feminism movement in Pakistan has gained progress, due to the obstruct from the region the result is not so ideal, once the reform comes to the issues such as religion, customs and habits, it is difficult to get rid of the tradition. Accounted for about half the population in Pakistan, women illiteracies is 70% yet, and women account for only 10% in high-income industry.  
 
4.0 Differences and similarities between China and Pakistan today

4.1 Differences and similarities between China and Pakistan

From the analysis above, the feminism movements in the two counties both focus on the technical training and the education and occupation. More and more women enter into the politics and play an important role. In the companies or other industries such as the construction, architecture, transportation, astronavigation etc. women also behave well and actively. With the development of the technology and information, it is difficult to fix the women in certain place and some jobs also need women.

But there are also differences, for example, China adopts the reform and opening-up policy to connect with the whole world but Pakistan is still not the member of the U.N. which makes the reform more difficult. In addition, China has achieved great success but Pakistan does not which may due to the economic difference in the two countyies.
 
4.2 The reason why they are different today

From the analysis above, Thus, can draw a conclusion that there are many reasons namely the culture, economy, policy and social elements lead to the differences and among them the culture and policy are the main reason.

No matter China or Pakistan, the feminism movement seems to be affected by the region. In China, it is affected by the Confucian culture which defined the women to obey the three obediences and the four virtues. Three obediences in ancient China refer to a woman was required to obey her father before marriage, and her husband during married life and her sons in widowhood, and four virtues refer to fidelity, physical charm, propriety in speech and efficiency in needle work coupled with the society of men till, women weave, all of these make the women with the gentle personality and they do not have the willing to fight for their right independently. Even they fight for, they have to be with the aid from the men. It can be seen clearly from all the reform in the history of China. Every women’s movement depends on the men and they all begin from the government.

It is different in Pakistan, sometimes the government have to reform with the aid of the Islam. But in China, there is no uniform religious faith which is maybe the main difference between the two countries (Shehrbano, 2009). Because of the faith to Islam, people in Pakistan are not willing to receive new changes and information. Even now, women are still the accessories of men. They enjoy the status given by men. In addition, the current social and economic systems in the two countries are different which decide the division of labour in society. Chinese women more tend to make some of their own.    
 
5.0 Conclusion

As the world is in ceaseless and fluctuant process, social problem such as population, education, family, children, population aging still haunt the progress and development of mankind, and the woman is the important variables to solve these social problems. Although there are more women than men in the world, and women fight for political equality rights in western countries in the early 1940s, and despite the women make up half of the world's population, take two-thirds of the world, women's situation is still not satisfactory in many fields at the present. The ratio of female members and male member is one to nine in the national parliaments, and the proportion of women in parliament in recent years is on a declining curve, from 12.5% in 1975 to 10.1% in 1993(Goldstein, 1990).

Currently about 150 countries in the world have female members, but the proportion of women in the national parliament is highly uneven, the difference is very large. Among them, ninety-eight countries have congresswoman accounted for under 10 % of the total number of members, forty countries are 20 % to 10%, seven countries are 20 % to30 % and only five countries are 30 % to 50 %. Among them, China accounted for 21%. Republic of Seychelles in Africa has the highest congresswoman proportion of the total number of members in the world. More over, proportion of female members in parliament is also higher in the Nordic countries. What Surprising is that women proportion of the total number of members in developing countries is higher than that in the developed countries, the proportion is 12% and 9% respectively(Goldstein, 1990).. On the other hand, there are dozens of countries in the world had no female in parliament up to now. All of these indicate there is still a long way to go for women to fight for equal rights and status with men

6.0 Reference

Bauer, J., 1992 Gender Inequality in Urban China: Education and Employment, Modern China, Vol.18, pp. 333-370
 
Evans, H.1998, The Language of Liberation: Gender and Jiefang in early Chinese Communist Party Discourse, Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, Vol.1, pp. 89
 
Farmer, E. L. 2003, Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol.62, pp. 1207
 
Goldstein, S. 1990, Urbanization in China, 1982-1987: effects of migration and reclassi- fication, Population and Development  Review,  Vol.16, pp. 673-702
 
Korson, J. H. 1985, Islamization and Social Policy in Pakistan: The Constitutional Crisis and the Status of Women. Asian Survey, Vol. 25, pp.589-612.
 
Littell-Lamb, E. A. 2012, Engendering a Class Revolution: the Chinese YWCA industrial reform work in Shanghai, 1927–1939. Women's History Review, Vol.21, pp. 189-209.
 
Shehrbano, A.Z. 2009, The reinvention of feminism in Pakistan, Feminist Review, Vol.91, pp. 29-46
 
Weiss, A. M. 1985, Women's Position in Pakistan: Sociocultural Effects of Islamization. Asian Survey, Vol. 25(8), pp. 863-880
 
Yousafzai, M. 2013, I Am Malala: The Schoolgirl Who Stood Up to the Taliban, Orion Publishing Group, London, UK.

 
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