What happened to China’s #MeToo movement?

What happened to China’s #MeToo movement?


Last month’s Chinese Congress of the Communist PartyAs expected, cemented Xi Jinping’s leadership for another five years and promoted Xi loyalists to key positions. But for the first time in 25 years, the new Politburo, the 24 party leaders who will lead China’s governance for the next five years, excludes women.

What does this signal about gender equality in China? The Communist Party has never had the strongest record of appointing women to powerful positions. Earlier Politburos, for example, usually included one or two women.

My research examines China’s significant gender gap in political representation and participation compared to several neighboring countries. Although 30 percent of the 2,300 party elites at the Party Congress held in October were women. 21 percent in 2009 — It is important to remember that China’s Congress is not democratically elected, and delegates do not represent the electorate as democracies typically do.

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Taiwan and South Korea have already elected female presidents, while China has few women even lead locally. The Communist Party has implemented gender quotas for district-level people’s congresses, but China has never fulfilled these types of requirements strictly. Taiwan, by contrast, has had much more good luck with its system of reserved seats, and women now make up 40 percent of the legislature. And when women take on political roles in China, they are appointed in greater numbers “female posts” which focus on issues such as education and healthcare. These are generally low-profile roles that command few resources and little political power.

Where does Xi stand on gender equality?

In An October 2020 address Marking the 25th anniversary of the Fourth UN Women’s World Conference, Xi noted that “women are the creators of human civilization and the driving forces of social progress” and pledged to improve the status of women by striving for gender equality and ensuring the protection of women’s rights.

However, China #MeToo movement Recent years, along with incidents of gender-based violence, suggest that hopes and goals of improving the status of women in China still have a long way to go. But gender activism has unnerved Beijing as a direct challenge to the state, prompting some analysts to worry that the status of women in China could: decline under Xi’s leadership.

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What is the status of the feminist movement in China?

Gender gaps in Chinese government are indicative of broader patriarchal issues in society that are also regulated and promoted by the government. In the past few years, China has witnessed a feminist awakening, starting with the Feminist Five. This group intended to protest against sexual harassment in public transport. In 2015, the women arrested on the eve of International Women’s Day were subsequently imprisoned for 37 days. It #FreetheFive hashtag flooded Chinese social media and the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton spoke on behalf of the activists. Since then, China has only tightened its grip on the feminist movement.

Government censors have targeted #MeToo comments on Chinese social media platforms. What began as a movement to raise awareness of sexual harassment on campus quickly spurred public attention to gender-based violence and unequal power relations in Chinese society, including large corporations and the Chinese government.

Women wrote mistresses which Chinese government officials have withheld in violation of Xi’s anti-corruption campaign. World ranked tennis player in 2021 Peng Shuai said she was sexually assaulted by a Chinese official Zhang Gaoli, then disappeared from public view. Although there was no evidence that it was a forced disappearance, her letters and interviews with Chinese state media weeks later, and her denials of sexual assault allegations, sparked international concern about her safety and freedom.

In August, officials arrested 28 people in connection with a group attack women outside a Hebei restaurant. Since the story went viral, the Chinese government has clamped down on reports of the attack.

Framing gender-based violence as an “incident” was the official response, but this approach could be risky for the Chinese government. The underreporting of violence against women challenges Beijing’s ability to maintain a harmonious society and poses a threat to its authoritarian regime. Many feminist activists either disappeared or were under surveillance. Others face criminal charges for assembling a crowd and intent to disturb public order.

What is the future of gender progress in China?

Women’s movements are important for strengthening gender equality lead to gender-balanced attitudes among young people. Like the #MeToo movements elsewhereChina seemed to open the door for women willing to support women’s rights as well as campaign for labor rights, safe working conditions and other issues. Under Xi’s rule, many of these campaigns are collapsing the pressures of the authorities to close

Harsh punishments of feminist activists and censorship of #MeToo, as well as gender-based violence, have prompted the use of emojis, homophones, similes and puns, and other digital activism designed to evade government censors.

But without feminism among China’s younger generations, the future looks very bleak. The birth rate continues to fall despite the official decline China’s one child policy and government incentives to encourage citizens to have children.

of China General Z struggles, for example, to find affordable housing and work-life balance and other support to help young families raise children. Although the government has promised to reduce school fees and improve maternity leave policies, structural resources are not in place to encourage families to have children.

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China’s “zero covid” lockdowns have particularly motivated young Chinese revise their life plans — and question state control over citizens’ lives. And “lying flat” a movement in which the younger generation rejects high-pressure work cultures brings further challenges to China’s leaders.

Under Xi’s leadership, it is increasingly difficult for China’s younger generation to see a clear future where their voices can be heard. The lack of female representation in the new Politburo sends a message that Xi is less serious about advancing the status of women than previously claimed.

With the tight control that Xi maintains over China, there is little sign that barriers to gender equality will disappear. “Liberating women” and “Women lift half the sky” they have long been part of the Communist Party’s promises, but they have remained slogans and will continue to be so under Xi’s leadership.

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