A Representation of Chinese Women the Post-1949 Literature on the Status of Women Essay

September 24, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Dec 26th, 2018


Chinese women faced difficult moments during the period before 1949. China was a feudal society that transformed into a semi colonial state. Furthermore, the country became a semi feudal society. Chinese women underwent massive challenges because of the male dominated society. They had undergone oppression, deprivation, and belittlement.

Chinese women fought against these challenges. The leaders of the Communist Party of China made life unbearable for women. The formation of the People’s Republic of China started transforming the society. Women started having an enabling environment to participate in their emancipation efforts. The party declared that women enjoyed the same rights in the society just as men did. The declaration hinted that women enjoyed equal opportunities associated with human rights.

The rights included the participation of women in political, economic, traditional, social, and the creation of families. This development transformed the representation of Chinese women in literature after 1949. The literature started capturing the issues involving women in a positive manner. The writers attempted to show the contribution of women in the society as well as how this influenced their status. This paper discusses how literature represented the Chinese women since 1949.

Transformation in the Rights of Women that have increased their Status

Several writers captured the increased economic status of Chinese women. The improvement in the financial status of women played a critical role in changing the way people perceived women’s sexuality. Women started gaining employment opportunities, which increased their economic status (Wen 7).

However, men continued to see employed women as prostitutes and sexual objects. Indeed, prostitution was still ongoing in the country. Furthermore, the discussions about sexuality were explicit between different people such as their fathers and daughters (Wen 9). Women also started providing for their basic needs and supported their parents with sleeping spaces (Wen 11).

Literature indicates that women yearned for economic power. Women felt that this could enable them to fulfill other obligations such as paying bills. They also yearned to have huge amounts of money, which they could comfortably spend. Since that time, the participation of women in employment areas has escalated significantly (Wen 10).

Women gained work opportunities in both the rural areas and the urban centers. The government facilitated employment opportunities for through diverse programs including economic restructuring programs. It is notable that women have enhanced their ability to contribute to economic Improvement through self-respect and self-strengthening.

Marriage and Family

The status of women in the society has also escalated in terms of marriage and family life. Men demeaned women to in marriages largely failing to provide them with their basic needs and demeaning their sexuality. For example, the author states, “your mother does’t even know I’m with you.

You mean to say, we’re both free as each other? Of course, we are just two men together” (Wen 12). In the movie Red Sorghum for example, women were married at a tender age. Furthermore, the movie shows that people known to women raped them. This trend has continued to date. On the contrary, some people also appreciated women beauty within the society (Kao 8).

Participation in Public Matters

The literature also indicates that women participated in different matters of public importance (Kao 12). The engagement in political activities started with the emergence of the People’s Republic of China, which had made a declaration about the rights of women to participate in political affairs.

Furthermore, women took up leadership roles in the political parties. Women also participated in the administration of social affairs in the country through employment in the government. The political parties encouraged the participation of women in different government activities.

Increased Status in the Society

The literature also indicates that the status of women improved in the society. The transformation efforts of China have also presented opportunities for women to escalate their participation in diverse societal activities (Wen 34). Woman status has increased in matters such as culture, education, and social services. Women also received training that was critical to eliminating illiteracy among them (Kao 8). In addition, women have continued to make significant contributions to the society through working as teachers.

The literature also indicates that women have played a critical role in improving social morality. It is notable that women have also enhanced social setting and stability (Deke 3). This has taken place because women started participating in community groups that are applicable in mediating village disputes. It is notable that women played a critical to the creation of enabling environments in the community through active participation the important decision making structures (Kao 12).


From the ongoing discussions, it is evident that women in China during the

periods before 1949. Women suffered diverse aspects of inequalities. The women were inferior to men. However, the People’s Republic of China started making different transformational activities that improved the society for women. Therefore, the period post 1948 has seen women make great achievements in terms of enhancing their status. Literature indicates that women started having economic power that increased their social status in the community.

Works Cited

Deke, Michael. World of Modern Chinese Fiction. New York, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1991. Print.

Kao, George. Wandering in the Garden, Walking from a Dream: Tales of Taipei. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982. Print.

Wen, Zhu. I Love Dollars. London: Columbia University Press, 2007. Print.

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