Document Type



This article examines recent Chinese laws on the issue of women and work. While Chinese regulations regarding women and work can be viewed as simply a reflection of the latest state policy on economic development, these regulations can also be viewed as an example of the familiar tension between standards that protect women and those that promote equality of opportunity. More importantly, these regulations reveal a philosophical change in the attitude towards Chinese women. In both tone and focus, the new Chinese regulations have origins in socialist ideals and Confucian traditions. They are Confucian in their focus on the importance of the collective community and socialists in the domineering role they assign to the state in defining the role of women in the workforce. The latest reality in China is that women's problems are no longer discussed as social problems but rather as a matter of biology.

Date of Authorship for this Version



Women, Work, Feminism, China, Chinese laws, International Law, Women

Original Citation

Originally published in Emory Law Journal, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 143-196, Winter 1993.