How does gender inequality affect the lifestyles of civilians living in Hangzhou, China?

Gender inequality is a global issue and is one that plagues Hangzhou. It is a shame to say that there is no one country in the world where all woman can expect to share the same rights as that of men. My research question is, 'How does gender inequality affect the lifestyles of civilians living in Hangzhou China?'


The sub-questions that are associated with the main question are, 'How do we measure gender inequality?’, 'What is the root of gender inequality? and ‘Why is achieving gender equality so important?’  

First of all, measuring gender inequality could be measured in different ways. The Gender-related Development Index, also known as GDI is a tool that measures the development corrected by the existing gender inequalities. The tool measures the gender gaps in the following factors; life expectancy, education and income.


In the Gender-related Development Index, one of the ways they use is the measure the amount of income each gender receives. The average annual income for a Hangzhou resident is 68,398 RMB. And the gender pay gap in Hangzhou is 17.5%. The difference in pay is 11,969 RMB. Males in Hangzhou earn 40,183.50 RMB per year. Women in Hangzhou earn 28214.50 RMB. The pay gap is extremely vast. But it is still less than the 25% pay gap in America.

The graph below is from the economist showing the global gender gap index in selected countries in 2014. As you can see the gender gap is relatively low compared to other countries.


Despite China's many economical advances in the past years, one aspect they have not improved but rather have let slide is the gender wage gap. A report from the Euromonitor had stated that women in Asia will earn 41.2% less than men by 2030. Now, these are very significant numbers compared to the 17.5% in Hangzhou.

Also included in the Index is the gender gap in life expectancy in Hangzhou. It says that males in Hangzhou live five years longer than women do in. Life expectancy may seem something out of our reach, but it's not. The amount of education, food and many other factors all contribute to life expectancy.

The second sub-question is, What is the root of gender inequality? It was until 1978 that China promoted the idea of a gender-equal society. In the 1990s to the 2000s, gender inequalities in the workplace increased in Hangzhou. It presented itself as a significant economic and social problem not only in Hangzhou but the rest of China as well. One of the reasons that Hangzhou experiences these problems is because of Chinese Culture. In Chinese Culture, it is considered better to give birth to a male. The parents wanted their family name to continue on to other generations. And this is why parents spend more time and money on developing and nurturing the male child instead of the female one. They sent boys to school and girls are to stay at home to learn how to do housework. This continued for a long time until they decided that it was unfair and unjust, females should have the same rights and opportunities in education and other things as males do. This process of change is still going on today. This is the origin of gender inequality in Hangzhou, China.

The last sub-question is, 'Why is achieving gender equality so important?'. First of all, this would give women equal rights and opportunities that men have. This would create a large influx of money as women would earn the same amount of money as men. This would help all countries alike to boost their economy. Of course, equal pay must be heavily enforced in the workplace in order to achieve it. Any disparity in wages due to gender is unfair and highly suggests that a woman is unable to work as effectively and efficiently as a man. Equal pay would also bring about greater respect for both men and women in the workplace. Women would also be able to receive the same amount of education as men, creating equal exposure and opportunities for both genders.

The following is a speech from Emma Watson, the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women talking about a new campaign promoting gender equality called, 'HeForShe'

To conclude, this website was meant to promote the idea of gender equality and it is focused on Hangzhou. Showing how aspects of the lifestyle of the Hangzhou people can be affected by gender inequality.

Throughout this investigation, I was able to understand the importance of gender equality and the factors that make it so hard to achieve but yet so necessary in Hangzhou. An example would be the large difference in pay for women and men in Hangzhou. Even though the situation is improving, there is still a long road ahead. It is these crucial factors that need to be changed and re-thought in order to improve the lifestyle of the citizens living in Hangzhou.


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