CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (8/28/2019 Wed.)

CHINA

Podcast: Story in the Story (8/28/2019 Wed.)

People's Daily app

01:12, August 28, 2019

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From the People's Daily app.

And this is Story in the Story.

Young female officials have more responsibilities after they start a family, which will also influence career promotions. 

About 85 percent of people in a recent survey said they observed difficulties of working mothers they know in juggling their jobs with their families.

The survey, released by the China Youth Daily, polled 2,000 people, about 90 percent of whom are married, and 63 percent have children.

About 86 percent said giving birth and raising a child could affect a woman's career development, and 37 percent said working mothers could miss out on promotion opportunities.

However, female officials have to apply a more significant effort than their male colleagues.

The decisions to punish Zhong Shangmin and Wan Xinqin, two female Suijiang County officials in Southwest China's Yunnan Province after they passed on being promoted, triggered uproar. 

The incident served as a reflection of how women in the workforce struggle with balancing their career, family, and personal lives. 

Today’s Story in the Story looks at some of the obstacles women face in China’s modern workplace, from the grassroots level to the high-end corporate sector.   

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Job hunters seek positions and information at a career fair in Huaibei, Anhui province. (Photo: China Daily)

Hu Shali, 35, a committee member in charge of organizational work within the township government of Ningshan County, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, and mother of a 9-year-old boy, said she was not able to be with her son in the hospital after he became ill.

Hu and her husband are both grassroots officials who stay in villages four days a week for poverty alleviation work. 

They have no choice but to leave their son with their elderly parents.

"We implement poverty alleviation policies door-to-door, gather villager opinions and solve their problems," said Hu. 

"I feel so sorry for my son and parents as both of us spend too little time with them," Hu revealed, adding, "my son calls me every day and asks whether I am coming home today."

"Women hold up half the sky," the slogan once used to encourage women to take up jobs, has materialized among grassroots level officials. 

China announced it would strengthen the inspection of employers and human resource service organizations, investigate and deal with actions violating the labor protection law and infringing upon the legitimate rights and interests of female employees, and promote gender equality in employment.

Measures will be taken to support the employment of women such as enhancing job-training services for women, providing childcare services for children under 3, and improving the maternity insurance system for female employees.

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Zhang Qi, a government official in Binzhou city, East China's Shandong Province, designs wall paintings for a village. (Photo: VCG)

A township official surnamed Hou in East China's Shandong Province said she could not relax on weekends as county-level officials could arrive for an inspection. 

After both cases emerged, the county Party committee launched a campaign inspecting similar concerns among members. Suijiang discipline authorities have investigated and held accountable 19 officials for failing to perform their duties and for negligent and irresponsible behavior.

Another dilemma is that although the number of female officials at the grassroots level has increased, senior-ranking female officials are rare, and the number keeps decreasing at the senior levels.

CPC members are also members of society with families. They should be allowed to devote more time to their families after daily work as family is the basic unit of society, and the Party also attaches importance to family tradition. 

Another county official surnamed Wu, who has a small baby, said when it comes to extensive scale activities, all department members work until midnight.

Wu said she understands the woes of Zhong and Wan, and added, "Many towns are an hour's drive from the county seat, and it’s difficult for them to go home every day, let alone take care of a family."

"We've seen many overbearing people who shout at young female officials but behave in front of stronger male colleagues," said Wu.

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Lance Crayon, Brian Lowe, and Paris Yelu Xu. Music by: bensound.com. Text from China Daily and Global Times.)


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