Double standard in socialist China, Equality in China's juridprodance, Feminist movement, Liberation and egalitarianism, Women's politiacl participation
Since CCP (Chinese Communist Party) came into power in 1949, Peking has tried to improve the women’s socio-economic as well as political situation emphasizing on the liberation and the egalitarianism derived from its political ideology which is Marxist-Leninist one. Though a series of new domestic policies, they encouraged women not only to work but also to get a better education to say nothing of providing suffrage and party membership denouncing so-called “double standard” which was believed to be indigenous to Feudal-Confucian China: the women’s employment rate rose from 7.5% in 1949 to 33.2% in 1987; more women go for a higher education; it rose from 23.5% in 1951 to 44.0% in 1987. Although the women’s political participation has has not been improved substantially in comparison with those statistical figures, this China’s new experiment of social revolution in the women’s welfare since 1949 seemed to have been remarkably successful : In 1954, the Chinese Central Government passed the bill for an equal right to vote for any women of age 18 years or above, and it became a law (Article 86 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China) establishing prima facie equality in China’s jursprudance.
However, since 1987 after Peking shifted its policy from an ideological-oriented to an economic-oriented one, one can easily notice that such politically retrogressive phenomena as the emergence of a number of counter-vailing factors against this progressive liberal reform have been reinforced. And that, they even jeopardized what women had already achieved : general norms against an equal opportunity for employment were created, the revival of old songs of double standard could be heard at every corner of the town hunting a feminist movement, and a lot of sexist statements have been frequently appeared in the mass media. More importantly, in the face of its economic stalemate, Peking was forced to eliminate high-ranking female party members in the central political machine of CCP in order to carry out further negative campaigns against women undermining so-called “Women’s Policies” which had been treated as a secondary issue in terms of the political priority for more than 30 odd years. Consequently, it caused a high unemployment rate for women and limited te number of woman to get higher education creating a vicious cycle of prostitution and slavery as a result of a domestic violence and a woman abuse.
The evidence suggests that the shift in public policy in accordance with political changes has been an independent variable to the degree of women’s political participation, but it is difficult to difine and weigh its role as an actual determinent of social force in a different period after the establishment of a communist regime in 1949. The main focus of this paper, therefore, is on the verfication of a basic causal variable including other intervening variables within its causal relationships and on the test of the hypothesis rather emphasizing on a quantitavtive approach toward two different time periods after 1949: (?) the period of socialist construction under a series of ambitious socio, politico-economic development programs since 1949, (?) the period of a rejuvenation in the centralized political arraratus, socalled, RPS(Refromation of Political Systems) since 1980.