Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the evolution of women’s struggles against Chinese government initiatives to move from the planned socialist economy to a “state capitalist” economy, a transition guided by a neoliberal, growth-oriented agenda emphasizing use of state power to protect capital over the rights of labor and those disadvantaged by gender, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and migration status, extensively eroding Chinese women’s achievements. Increasing awareness of women’s rights in China through the advocacy of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women has led to adoption of gender analysis in the “state feminist” approach and research inequalities and oppression. Grassroots women’s coordinated activism has brought forward “state feminism’s” failure to uphold women’s social citizenship and has recently become as effective as the state-led women’s organizations in promoting women’s rights. The chapter suggests the need for a more comprehensive understanding of Chinese women’s struggles for equality, based on their contributions to production and social reproduction.
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