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Club Lunch: ‘Leftover’ Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China

Date: 19 May 2014 01:00 PM — 02:00 PM | Venue:

Speaker: Leta Hong Fincher
Author & doctoral candidate in sociology, Tsinghua University

MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014
12:45pm – Lunch

Topic: ‘Leftover’ Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China

After the Communist revolution in 1949, Chairman Mao famously proclaimed that ‘women hold up half the sky’. In the early years of the People’s Republic, the Communist Party sought to transform gender relations with expansive initiatives, such as assigning jobs in the planned economy to urban women. Yet women’s gains of the past are now being eroded in China’s post-socialist era of breakneck economic growth. A combination of factors – skyrocketing home prices, a resurgence of traditional gender norms, legal setbacks to married women’s property rights, a widening gender income gap, and a media campaign against “leftover” women – has contributed to a fall in status and material well-being of Chinese women relative to men. Ms. Hong Fincher’s new book, Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China, lays out the structural discrimination against women and speaks to broader problems with China’s economy, politics, and development.

Leta Hong Fincher is an award-winning former journalist now completing her doctorate in sociology at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her research on ‘leftover’ women and the residential property market in China has been cited by many news organizations, including The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC and CNN. She has a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China has just been published by Zed Books.

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