The Effects of the Communists’ Policies Towards Women on the Communists’ Rise to Power in China

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This investigation will cover women’s participation in the Long March, the People’s Republic of China Constitution in 1949, Mao’s policies for foot binding, the 1950 Marriage Law, and women’s increased participation in society. I will analyze journal articles and books from Western and Asian authors to evaluate various historians’ views on Communists’ policies towards women and the effects they had on Communists’ rise to power. Kellee Tsai’s Women and the state in post-1949 rural China and John King Fairbank’s “The Great Chinese Revolution: 1800-1985” are two of the principle sources and will be evaluated.

Part B: Summary of Evidence

Women’s Participation in Long March

Mao’s uprising in Hunan, known as the Long March, allowed women to participate in the movement as equal and important comrades (some women even abandoned their own new babies to continue marching), prompting them to participate in the revolution (Lewis 59). Paying attention to women’s problems and protecting their rights were important goals of the Communists to ensure that the women would stay enthusiastic for participating in the revolution (Hodes 225). Additionally, establishing and applying laws to protect and liberate women would lead and encourage them to participate in revolutionary war, which would in turn speed up victory of the revolution for the Communists (Hodes 225).

1949 People’s Republic of China Constitution

Under the People’s Republic of China Constitution in 1949, women were legally full citizens of China and shared equal rights with men (Datta 50). The All-China Women’s Federation was responsible for reinforcing policies to improve women’s conditions in China (Korabik 1). In this women’s federation, equality of women was enforced within t...

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...t Directive No. 6 of the Council of People’s Commissars.” Mao's Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings 1912-1949, vol. 4 (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1997). Questia. Web. 2 Jan. 2012.

Korabik, Karen. "Managerial Women in the People's Republic of China," International Studies of Management & Organization 23.4 (1993). Questia. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.

Lewis, Peter. "Abandoned babies and boiled sandal soup -- the harrowing true story of the Long March; BOOK OF THE WEEK." Daily Mail [London, England] 19 Mar. 2010: 59. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

MacFarquhar, Roderick and Michael Schoenhals. Mao’s Last Revolution. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006. Print.

Tsai, Kellee S. "Women and the state in post-1949 rural China." Journal of International Affairs 49.2 (Winter 1996): 493. History Study Center. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.
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