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Better Jobs for Chinese Women with Family Responsibilities: Policy Options Xiao-yuan Dong University of Winnipeg CEA annual conference June 1, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Better Jobs for Chinese Women with Family Responsibilities: Policy Options Xiao-yuan Dong University of Winnipeg CEA annual conference June 1, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Better Jobs for Chinese Women with Family Responsibilities: Policy Options Xiao-yuan Dong University of Winnipeg CEA annual conference June 1, 2013

2 World Bank Report (2013): Three main characters of good jobs  Living standards - Need both money and time  Productivity -Human resources produced daily and across generations  Social cohesion -Women’s household responsibilities - major contributor -Gender - a cross-cutting issue.

3 Chinese women’s market work and household responsibility  Chinese women bear major responsibilities for housework  Unpaid housework amounts to 30% of China’s GDP: 70% contributed by women.  However, the value of housework is not recognized.  Chinese government’s concern : to find the most efficient way of restructuring the productive economy  They assume that social reproduction will adjust accordingly.

4 Social protection for women’s reproductive role  China’s economic reforms : substantial cutbacks on the support of government and the employer for care provisioning  Public spending on social services is low, even by developing country standards a. Public spending on education as share of GDP: China is 3.1%, lower than the level in other countries. b. Pre-school enrolment rate (3-6 years): China in 2008: 47% Chile in 2006: 75.7% Mexico in 2008: 93.1%

5 Social protection for women’s reproductive role  Social protection for women’s reproductive role have been severely eroded.  Under pressure for profits, enterprises are increasingly reluctant to accommodate workers’ care-giving needs.  Protective labor regulations are not implemented in non-public sectors;  Export-oriented FDI and private firms hire primarily young, single migrant women; Female college graduates face labor market discrimination; Workers work long hours and overtime work is widespread.

6 Patriarchal values became more influential Percentage of people who agree "Men should play a major role in society while women should play a major role at home" Surveys of Chinese Women's Status (2000 and 2010)

7 Struggle of working women : Labour participation

8 Working hours and overtime work, 2008 MenWomen All occupations Working hours/week % working ≥ 48 hours Manufacturing Working hours/week % working ≥ 48 hours Commercial services Working hours/week % working ≥ 48 hours Source: China Labor Force Survey

9 Time allocation among men and women 20 to 49 years old, by sector (hours/week) Source: 2008 China Time Use Survey

10 Participation rates of men and women in market work, housework and non-work activities over 24 hours on a weekday WomenMen Source: 2008 China Time Use Survey from Qi and Dong (2013)

11 Housework effects on the monthly earnings of men and women in non-agricultural sectors MenWomen Maximum duration of market work time 0.015***0.023*** Market work being interrupted ***-0.104*** No. of times switching between MW and HW ***-0.005*** Housework time ***-0.004***-0.003***-0.004*** Gender differences in the housework indicators account for 28% of the gender earnings gap (0.226). Source: 2008 China Time Use Survey from Qi and Dong (2013)

12 Earnings differentials between mothers and childless women in urban China (Fix-effects estimates) Source: CHNS from Jia and Dong (2012)

13 % rural men and women aged between 18 and 64 are troubled By mental health problems in 2010 Source: The Third Survey of Chinese Women’s Status by ACWF

14 Acute family-work conflicts may have irreversible demographic consequences Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Database.

15 Policy options  Need social dialogue: - Who should be responsible for taking care of children, the disabled and the elderly?  Acknowledge and support the care economy in macroeconomic policy -Increase public spending on social services and time-saving infrastructural investment -Improve access to ECE and daycare programs by parents from disadvantaged social groups  Enforce protective labor regulations  Promote enterprise social responsibility and family-friendly workplace practice  Encourage men to take on more family responsibilities  Increase women’s voice and political representation


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