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The position of women "Women hold up half the sky"- Mao Zedong "Women hold up half the sky"- Mao Zedong Cultural revolution By Carola Rutigliani.

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Presentation on theme: "The position of women "Women hold up half the sky"- Mao Zedong "Women hold up half the sky"- Mao Zedong Cultural revolution By Carola Rutigliani."— Presentation transcript:

1 The position of women "Women hold up half the sky"- Mao Zedong "Women hold up half the sky"- Mao Zedong Cultural revolution By Carola Rutigliani

2 Vocab: Red Women's Army One child policy (later-longer-fewer) Land reform Act Marriage law Jiang Qing Yin Yang Historians: Jung Chang/Jon Halliday- ‘The Unknown Story’ Frank Dikotter- ‘Mao's Great Famine’ Lau Siew Mei – ‘Playing Madame Mao’ Essential question: How did Mao change the status of Women in China?

3 “Unite and take part in production and political activity to improve the economic and political status of women." - Inscription for the magazine, Women of New China, printed in its first issue, July 20, 1949. Mao referred to the oppression of women as feudal patriarchy: "A man in China is usually subjected to the domination of three systems of authority [political authority, family authority and religious authority].... As for women, in addition to being dominated by these three systems of authority, they are also dominated by the men (the authority of the husband).” “In order to build a great socialist society it is of the utmost importance to arouse the broad masses of women to join in productive activity. Men and women must receive equal pay for equal work in production. Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole" (from Women in The Little Red Book).” (from Women in The Little Red Book) (from Women in The Little Red Book)

4 The Red Women's Army Mao Zedong encouraged every woman who could work to take her place in the labour front.


6 Who took care of the children? -After school activities and educational programs for children would finish at 7-8. -Family life was mostly destroyed and children wouldn’t spend much time at home with their family. -Everything was shared, there wasn’t the concept of privacy or family ex:Communes “Children knew their friends better than their parents”- Lui Shiang (lived in a Commune) - Housework was socialized and communal dining halls fed families; childcare became a collective effort, as did washing and sewing

7 Family planning Mao Zedong rejected the need for family planning programs, saying that China needed more labor power. A "later-longer-fewer" (wan xi shao) policy was designed to encourage later childbearing, more widely spaced births and fewer births. 1979 (after Mao's death) the one-child policy was introduced.

8 Mao's reforms- Rural sector Land Reform Act (1950) intended to break up the landowning monopoly which was established through feudalism. The Land Reform Act gave women the chance to own property and have equal rights to work on the land. Marriage Law (1950) - allowed women the right to reassess their marriage agreements. Self- supporting

9 Mao's reforms- Urban sector Great Leap Forward (1958-1960)- government set up communes, industries,and industrial management which required mass participation from men and women. Women encouraged to own small businesses Equal wages in the factories (180,000 women worked in Beijing alone) Indipendence And Economic wealth

10 Madame Mao Promote women's liberation All-China Women’s Federation Jiang Qing (stage name- Lan Ping) was recognized and immortalized as a political leader. Before she was a successful actress Mao's third wife


12 Female characters in movies demonstrated qualities such as courage, determination, inner strength and rebelliousness, normally perceived as masculine. Females weren't depicted as wives or in a romantic relationship but they were all independent small business owners, not married. No sexuality Culture

13 Was it masculinization? Women dressed like boys, cut their hair short and scrubbed their faces of makeup Example: Red detachment of women- Pas de deux

14 Interesting facts Foot binding (process in which the arch of a woman's feet is broken and the toes are wrapped up against the foot to create a smaller looking foot with an acute arch) was banned. Trafficking of women was banned.

15 Before revolution After revolution Obedience to men Uneducated Domestic sphere- isolated form economics and politics of China Confucianism Religion- Women submissive (Yin –Yang) Women worked in the outer sphere-outside home More independent economically and socially Freedom of marriage and equality By 1975, 24% of the National People’s Congress members were women. “Those who worked with their brains were superior to those who worked with their hands." (Yao, 155) - Confucius However the red army(mostly men) had the power H o w e v e r t h e r e d a r m y ( m o s t l y m e n ) h a d t h e p o w e r

16 RECAP How did Mao change the status of women? Equality of the sexes in education, employment and pay was made law and women were given the right to own property for the first time. In 1950 the Marriage Law banned arranged marriages. Divorce was allowed in China for the first time. Maternity benefits were introduced in 1951, including feeding time and nurseries in government run businesses. By the 1970s almost 50% of China's doctors were women and 30% of engineers and scientists Success? Men were still in the top positions and Old Cultural Ideas weren’t eliminated completely. Didn’t have complete excercise on the income they earned.

17 Bibliography 04.html %20Under%20Mao.htm china/#women-under-china8217s-dynasties- 8211-confucianism-and-women


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