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Even since the dramatic post-1949 changes in China regarding the role of women, China has remained paternalistic in it's attitudes and social

reality. The land reform, which was intended to create a more balanced

economic force in marriage, was the beginning of governmental efforts to

pacify women, with no real social effect. Communist China needed to address the "woman question". Since women wanted more equality, and equality is doled out from the hands of those in power,capitalism was examined. The economic issues of repressed Chinese women

were focused on the Land Act and the Marriage Act of 1950. The Land reform

succeeded in eliminating the extended family's material basis and hence,

its potential for posing as a political threat to the regime. Small-plots

were redistributed to each family member regardless of age or sex; and land

reform provisions stipulated that property would be equally divided in the

case of divorce. Nonetheless, their husbands effectively controlled land

allotted to women. Patriarchal familial relationships in the Confucian

tradition seemed to remain intact.

The Marriage Law of 1950 legalized marriage, denounced patriarchal

authority in the household and granted both sexes equal rights to file for

divorce. The second and most prominent element of the strategy was

integrating women into economic development. Women's employment was viewed

as a prerequisite for emancipation from bourgeois structures as embodied in

the patriarchal family. Furthermore, at the core of the CCP's strategy for

political consolidation was economic reconstruction and rural development.

The full participation of women was not only an ideological imperative but

a pragmatic one. Third, the All-Chi...

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... integrate what little she can do

into the great cause of socialist construction and if she has the ideal of

working for the happiness of future generations, she would be a noble

person, a woman of benefit to the masses, a woman of communist

morality (Anders,46).

Women in China must still adhere to the traditional roles set about by

their culture. The Communist Revolution provided the examination of the

roles of women in China and implemented important steps toward the

recognition of their legitimacy. Rightly so, Chinese feminists are not

satisfied with their place in society and campaign for a new and better

understanding of the value of women in society.


Andors, Phyllis. The Unfinished Liberation of Chinese Women. Bloomington:

Indiana University Press, 1983.

Croll, Elisabeth. Chinese Women Since Mao. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1983.
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