April 30, 2018

There are millions of young rural-to-urban migrant women in China, mostly imagined as exploited cheap labourers who suffer from long work hours, dreadful working conditions and possible sexual exploitation. Yet, migration also provides women with economic independence, broadened horizons, and the freedom to escape from “parental, spousal and other forms of authority.” For one research project, I interviewed 18 young migrant wo...

April 23, 2018

One morning in March this year, I was woken up by a message on Wechat from an old school girlfriend ‘L’ in China. It was a crowdfunding appeal for her mother. It read:

Dear kind-hearted friends: My mother was made redundant as a factory worker more than two decades ago. My whole family, my school fees and living cost for us three, have depended on my father’s modest income as a grinder in a factory. He works from 8am to 8pm wit...

April 16, 2018

In the majority of Chinese households, both husband and wife work. In fact, in the PRC women working outside home is a social norm and housewives are uncommon. Prior to the economic reforms in the 1980s, a housewife (jiatingfunu) was typically regarded as a woman of lower status, who had no ability to find a job in the city and thus had to stay at home. Housewives today include wives of the ‘new rich’ or high-salaried professi...

April 9, 2018

In the spring of 2008, China was practically electric with pre-show jitters and excitement as the nation prepared to host the Olympic games and to broadcast itself to television screens around the globe.  It was in this climate that I interviewed a handful of Hangzhou residents about zhongmei kuaguo hunyin, or American-Chinese transnational marriages.  In these interviews, I was told that a good match required husbands to be r...

April 2, 2018

Why don’t young Chinese want to be feminists? What discourages young people from embracing feminism? The two questions kept leaping out during my fieldwork for a research project on Youth Attitudes towards Gender, Homosexuality and the Migrant Underclass in collaboration with my colleagues from Peking University in 2017. We interviewed 68 university students born between 1993 and 1999. These students were selected from a varie...

March 31, 2018

Our seventh issue looks at some of the contemporary issues related to women and work in urban China. What emerged strongly from the contributions was a difficulty women found combining work, motherhood and other opportunities, despite the fact that it is the norm for Chinese women to work outside the home. This begins before students even graduate, when they feel anxious about the probable workplace discrimination and limited...

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WAGIC is a dedicated space for discussing gender, sexuality and feminism(s) in China past and present

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