Week 2 Activity Post

Question: How do women and men in that country divide labor within the home?

In modern society, general education and higher education are widely spread, and the idea of equality between men and women has been widely disseminated, the status of women has further improved. However, due to the deep patriarchal ideology, women are still in a lower social status than men. 

     According to my understanding, half of the middle-aged couples in China that the women are housewives and the men goes out to work, mainly to see the man’s economic ability. The other half is that both husband and wife go out to work, but most of the household responsibilities are still the responsibility of the woman. Nowadays, young couples have great economic pressures, so generally both parties have their own jobs. Some are parents to help with housework, and some will ask for housekeeping services. Other young couples have limited financial ability, many of them are working in other provinces. Parents are not around, so the two parties may participate in housework together.

     Taking my family’s example, in my family, “men outside the home, women inside”, my mother took all the housework, my father almost did not do housework. My father has a company and a factory to manage. My mother is a housewife, also she is a deacon of the church. Because my father often goes out to work at 7 a.m or 8 a.m in the morning and works until after 11 p.m in the middle of the night before returning home. He has no chance to do housework at home. My mom spends most of her time at home, and a third of her time is dedicated to the church.

     According to researches, in Chinese families, the division of labor and the position of the two sexes in the family are not necessarily related to the amount of power held. That is, the burden of doing more household chores is not necessarily low in the family. Today’s society advocates equality between men and women. In China, unlike in the North, which is deeply influenced by patriarchalism and Confucianism, the South is more infiltrated with the idea of equality between men and women. It is very common to share chores by men. According to the survey data of modern urban and rural family research, among the household purchasers in Shanghai, the husband accounted for 23.87%, the wife accounted for 51.35%, and the husband and wife accounted for 20.39%. Among the household shopping bearers in Qingpu, the husband accounted for 69.57%, the wife accounted for 13.04%, and the husband and wife accounted for 43.68%. In the survey of the distribution of household cookers, among the households in Shanghai, the husbands accounted for 19.74%, the wives accounted for 53.16%, and the couples accounted for 19.10%. These data indicate that in China, household chores are not all The wife bears and the husband is involved in housework. (The Oriental education, 2014)

     Rural and urban is not the same, “City life may have made both men and women internalize a labour hierarchy that privileges disciplined, waged labour over agricultural self-employment. However, upon returning to marriage in a rural village it is only women who are subjugated to both devalued market labour and to the burden of domestic labour. Unlike in the city, where service infrastructure delivers gas to the room for heating or cooking, and water for drinking and cleaning, in Huangbaiyu village the primary burden of daily subsistence infrastructure provision rests on women.”(May, S. 2010)

     However, labour based on gender inequality is a global problem. Women all over the world are paid fifteen to fifty percent less than men working the same jobs, and both societal and biological-based explanations have been used to justify this disparity. Women are presumed less capable physically and mentally than men, and men are believed to have greater need of the income because they are presumed to be the primary providers of the family unit. (Jamie Burnett, 2010)

May, S. (2010). Bridging divides and breaking homes: Young women’s lifecycle labour mobility as a family managerial strategy. The China Quarterly, 204(204), 899-920. doi:10.1017/S0305741010001013, from https://search-proquest-com.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/docview/816337295?pq-origsite=summon

Shouwei Wang, The Oriental education, 2014, from https://wenku.baidu.com/view/b43738539a6648d7c1c708a1284ac850ac02044f.html

Jamie Burnett, 2010, Women’s Employment Rights in China: Creating Harmony for Women in the Workplace, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, from https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geKV_ig0lbEB4AKu8PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByNXM5bzY5BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMzBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–/RV=2/RE=1531573346/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.repository.law.indiana.edu%2fcgi%2fviewcontent.cgi%3farticle%3d1424%26context%3dijgls/RK=2/RS=JGU6JW2JUXTHnLDJl7t2QReRHH0-&httpsredir=1&article=1424&context=ijgls

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