Authors Name: 
Jasmine Jia Shing Lee
University: 
Nanyang Technological University
Category: 
Gender Studies & Anthropology
Highly commended

In today’s post-Mao era, are females in China still limited by their gender in achieving the aims of education?

“Women hold up half the sky” said Mao Zedong, one of the most respected leaders in China. While education has been recognized as a ladder of social ascendancy since ancient times and a key driver behind China’s economic and societal transformations, in examining the education and employment opportunities available to females in today’s post-Mao era, this paper reveals that females in China are still limited by their gender in achieving the aims of education.

Such phenomenon stems from Confucianism and the entrenched gender preference for males, amongst other factors which will be discussed. This paper further analyses the inherent regional inequality which causes a significant achievement gap between rural and urban students as well as various external factors and internal factors, more notably the One Child Policy, which could have decreased gender inequality faced by urban girls, relative to rural girls. Despite better opportunities available for urban girls, females from both regions continue to face a lack of employment opportunities upon graduation due to various stereotypes. This paper concludes that being a girl in present day China limits her achievement in both opportunities during education and after education as she seeks to be employed, although girls in the rural regions face a more severe situation aggravated by income inequality and entrenched traditional beliefs.