A teacher in the eastern Chinese city of Nanchang has accepted 45,000 yuan in compensation after filing a lawsuit against his local education department for employment discrimination. Xiao Qi (a pseudonym) had been refused employment by the Jinxian county education department because he was HIV positive.
The official Chinese media reported this week that police in Tianjin had detained five people suspected of abducting people with mental disabilities and forcing them to work in a car wash in the city. The 11 workers received no salary for several months, were fed on scraps from the bosses’ table, and were beaten and burned with cigarettes if they tried to escape or contact relatives, the Beijing News reported on 3 December.
It was a modest protest: about 10 university students in winter coats, waving placards near a government office in the central Chinese city Wuhan. Yet the reason for the demonstration was shocking. The students were protesting against a requirement that women applying for civil service jobs must undergo invasive gynaecological examinations.
Discrimination in the workplace on the basis of gender, age, social origin, health, ethnicity etc. is endemic and still widely tolerated in in China. Over the last decade, the Chinese government has sought to provide employees with greater legal protection against discrimination but these laws remain deficient in administration, effectiveness, and coverage.
South Korean electronics behemoth Samsung has been hit by fresh allegations of impropriety at one of its manufacturing plants in China, this time involving purported sexual discrimination in its hiring policy.
During his concert tour of Hong Kong last week, “New Worker” Sun Heng once again called the public’s attention to the threatened closure of the Tongxin Primary School for the children of migrant workers, which he helped set up on a deserted factory site on the outskirts of Beijing in 2005.
In the United States, the “war on women” often garners banner headlines as activists try to halt the alarming rollback of women’s rights. In China, the erosion of women’s rights has been quieter but in many ways just as worrying. And in response, women in China too are increasingly willing to stand up to widespread and widely-accepted discrimination in the workplace and society in general.
La población urbana es por primera vez mayor que la rural en China, un cambio histórico que tendrá grandes consecuencias sobre la fuerza laboral en la llamada fábrica del mundo y someterá a una fuerte presión a los servicios sociales, el transporte y el medio ambiente en las ciudades, según los expertos. En 1949, cuando Mao Zedong proclamó la República Popular China tras vencer a los nacionalistas de Chiang Kai-shek gracias al apoyo de las masas agrarias, el 89% de la gente vivía en el campo. En los 30 años que siguieron, esta cifra solo bajó ocho puntos y se situó en el 81%.