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Marriage Law most familiar among women
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-03 01:37

Chinese know more about the Marriage Law than any other legal area, a survey released yesterday shows.

Nearly 99 per cent said they were aware of the marriage law but knowledge about other laws affecting their daily lives was left wanting.

A couple display their marriage certificate after registration in Nanjing on July 1, 2004. [newsphoto/file]
For example, the survey showed that 19.8 per cent have no or few ideas about other laws. And 35.7 per cent hold the opinion that a couple is recognized as married only after registration and public wedding ceremony.

Commissioned by the All-China Women's Federation and the Ministry of Justice, the survey took place last November to this January. 3,600 ordinary residents as well as 600 governmental workers related to women's legal service in six provinces were quizzed.

The survey's findings were released yesterday in Beijing at the opening of the Women's Rights Protection Week, an event to celebrate the annual International Women's Day, which falls next Tuesday.

A quarter of the respondents, aged between 14 and 60, were male.

More women than men expressed their willingness to learn more about the law, according to the survey.

While women are eager to study the law on the rights of women and children, marriage, labour and security, men tend to pay more attention to economic law, including contracts and proceedings.

However, both male and female agreed that the best way to gain legal knowledge is from special training classes and the free brochures dispatched by legal and other organizations.

About 53.2 per cent of women use the television or radio to learn legal matters 10 per cent higher than men.

Women also communicate with friends and family members to learn legal information.

The survey also shows that men prefer to read books and magazines or teach themselves.

"Men and women are playing different roles in society," said Tan Lin, an expert on women's study. "They keep different social contacts and thus enjoy different channels for obtaining information," she added.

The survey showed women seek assistance from local women's federation officials when they want to protect their legal rights while men use the courts.

More than 10 per cent said mediation is the most efficient way to resolve disputes and protect rights.

(China Daily 03/03/2005 page2)

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