China National Bureau of Statistics recently released a report analyzing the implementation of the China National Program for Women's Development (2011-2020) for the year 2017.
The report shows that as of the end of 2017, female employees accounted for 43.5 percent of the employment market in the country, surpassing the goal of 40 percent by the end of 2020 as stated in the program.
The outstanding performance of women in the workplace reflects the progress of social development, say the authors.
The slogan "women hold up half the sky," which was put forward over half a century ago, has increasingly come true to life. The prospects for women's employment are broader at present than ever before.
The development of social attitudes have changed the traditional perception of women. Many jobs that were originally dominated by men began to open to both genders.
On the other hand, new areas such as the internet and artificial intelligence have boosted social development, and created a large number of new occupations, providing more career choices.
The new occupations such as nutritionist, color coordinator and animator have become popular among women.
However, the high employment rate of women does not mean that gender equality has been achieved in career development.
Statistics reveal that the industries in which women's employment numbers increased most are those with the job title of secretary, customer service personnel and maternity matron.
These occupations require good communication skills, which is more in line with the characteristics of most women, according to the researchers.
Although there are plenty of female employees in the industries such as finance and auditing, the proportion of women in senior accounting professions with technical qualifications is far lower than that of men.
The career advancement opportunities for women still need to be further improved.
Objectively speaking, fertility and family impedes the career development of women.
According to the World Women's Report released in 2015, women spent an average of 2-3 hours longer than men in household chores and working.
To balance family and work, women spend less effort in socializing, self-improvement and health.
The channel for promotions for women in work is narrowing with age.
The requirements for concentration and coordination are further increased in work, while family pressures are also higher, which objectively weakens the competitiveness of women's career promotion.
Although gender equality has long been a consensus, women have been given the natural role of mother. Society has long held the belief that women should play a larger role in taking care of families.
Most advertising spokespersons for products such as infants, children, kitchens and bathrooms are female, which invisibly implies the inevitable connection between women and families.
The employment rate of women is increasing day by day, while the degree of involvement of men in the family has not been truly improved.
As a female writer had once said, what Chinese women actually lack in are not jobs but rather good jobs – not only those that come with a decent position and high salary, but also those that bring a sense of honor, accomplishment and self-improvement.
The authors of the report conclude: "What we are calling for is not only the sheer increase of female employees in number, but also the pursuit of more valuable lives for women."
(Source: people.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)