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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%.
Factory owners in China have for decades refused to hire production line workers under 30-years-of-age, but now such blatant age discrimination is spreading to the professional services as well.
China has shut down 24 schools for the children of migrant workers in Beijing forcing more than 14,000 students to drop out, state media said, sparking anger among parents who say they face discrimination.
More than one third of the population of China’s most prosperous province, Guangdong, are migrants, according to the latest census statistics. Despite recent attempts by provincial authorities to better integrate Guangdong society, there are still 36.7 million migrants in the province, out of a total population of 104 million.
It's no mystery why the Chinese hate the chengguan. Think of them as thuggish meter maids or health inspectors with batons. Hardly a week goes by without a new controversy involving the municipal officers, a rung below the police, beating an unlicensed hawker or smashing a street vendor's stand.


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