A century ago, Chinese feminists fighting for the emancipation of women helped spark the Republican Revolution, which overthrew the Qing empire. After China’s Communist revolution of 1949, Chairman Mao famously proclaimed that “women hold up half the sky.” In the early years of the People’s Republic, the Communist Party sought to transform gender relations with expansive initiatives including the Marriage Law and assigning urban women jobs. Those gains have been eroded in the post-socialist era; women in China have experienced a dramatic rollback of many rights and gains relative to men.
In ‘Leftover’ Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China, Leta Hong Fincher debunks the claim that women have fared well as a result of China’s economic reforms and breakneck growth. Laying out the structural discrimination against women in China speaks to broader problems with China’s economy, politics, and development.
Dr. Leta Hong Fincher discussed her new book at a National Committee program on Monday, July 21, 2014.
Bio:Leta Hong Fincher is the first American to receive a Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at Tsinghua University in Beijing. An award-winning journalist, her research on gender and China’s urban property market has been cited in many news organizations, including The Economist, New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, BBC and CNN.
Dr. Hong Fincher received her master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University.