Equality, Development and Sharing: Progress of Women's Cause in 70 Years Since New China's Founding
Women account for 40% of the labor force. In the early days after the PRC was founded, women actively engaged in activities of reviving the country's economy and boosting its social development, becoming key elements in the drive to industrialize New China. Thanks to the country's rapid economic and social development since China launched the reform and opening-up drive 40 years ago, women now have increasingly diversified employment options and ampler business opportunities as the number of women workers and entrepreneurs has risen by a big margin. In 2017, there were 340 million women in the labor force, doubling the figure in 1978. The Chinese government has provided small-sum guaranteed loan with financial discount to boost women employment and self-employment. A total of 383.77 billion yuan were allocated between 2009 and 2018, with the central and local governments appropriating 40.86 billion yuan of funds with discount interest rates, benefiting 6.569 million women in employment and self-employment. The 2017 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition sponsored by the All-China Women's Federation attracted 560,000 women.
Women's job options are greatly expanded. Throughout the process of socialist modernization, women's productivity has been continuously unleashed and their employment options also broadened. In 2010, 46.8% of women worked in the secondary and tertiary sectors, up 24.8 percentage points from 1982. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has prioritized employment while actively promoting gender equality in employment. China published a Notice on further straightening recruitment behaviors to promote women's employment, which explicitly prohibited six types of gender discriminations in job market. Joint enquiry, market supervision and judicial relief are put in place to ensure women can enjoy equal rights in employment. In 2017, there were 15.297 million women technicians in State-owned enterprises and institutions, making up 48.6% of the total technicians, and the figure also represented a 9.5-percentage-point rise from 1982. Over 100,000 women acquired knowledge and skills for e-commerce through the women's federations programs, who in turn helped 15 million women to increase their income. An "internet+ women employment" model has taken shape, by which women can gain access to efficient employment services without leaving their homes. Women have made up 55% of the population doing business online.