China’s economic transformation had far reaching social, political and economic gender-differentiated implications, which carries significant weight since the transformation takes place in a society where the state has a historic commitment to promoting gender equality. If the success of the reforms is evaluated in terms of improvements in the abilities of men, and in particular women to lead better lives, the outcomes are uneven (Berik, Dong, Summerfield 2007). The following paper explores the changes in China’s female labor force through the dimensions of foreign direct investment (FDI) and the role multinational corporations (MNCs) had in reshaping Chinese firms and their subsequent labor practices, the effects it had on women’s compensation and how the process manifested itself in negative and positive externalities for women in the workforce. The argument the...
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...initiative of the Socialist Program with Chinese characteristics. Realizing the potential benefits of foreign investment, the Chinese economy opened up to foreign investment in 1979. With the re-entry of the Chinese economy to the world markets, the flow of FDI grew to $1.7 billion dollars in 1983. In 1988, it increased to $5.3 billion and then to $11.4 billion in 1991 (Wei, 1995). Between 1985 and 2001, FDI in China rose from an annual rate of about two billion to over 40 billion dollars in 2001. Analysts both within and outside China agree FDI had been of considerable importance and with deep leveraging effects for China’s high rates of real economic growth (Wei 1995). As shown by the following graph gathered from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, there was, and continues to be a positive correlation between the inflow of FDI and GDP growth in the Chinese economy.
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