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Gender bias seen in job fair ads (2)

By Chen Xin  (China Daily)

08:44, February 25, 2013

"Our personnel would ask employers to correct the notice if they were found using discriminatory words," Zhang was quoted as saying by Beijing Youth Daily.

Some 800 enterprises attended the job fair, offering 25,000 jobs.

An advertising firm at the fair was looking for people to install advertisements at bus stops. Its advertisements clearly stated the job was for men only.

"The job requires employees to work at night. So some unexpected or unsafe things might happen if we hire women to do it," said Ren Jie, a human resources manager at the firm.

However, job seekers hold different attitudes about discriminatory job advertisements.

"It would be obvious discrimination if only men could be hired for management positions. Even though some production line jobs require strength and male workers might be more suitable, any gender discrimination is illegal," said Fu Dongfang, 28, who attended the job fair on Sunday.

Shen Jing, also 28, said at the fair: "Men and women have different physiques and logical thought capacities, so it's reasonable that employers target different genders according to the positions. I don't consider it discrimination," she said.

Beijing's human resources authority recently released a draft regulation in an aim to eliminate employment discrimination.

Employers who are proved to have discriminated during recruitment will face fines of up to 30,000 yuan ($4,800) if the draft takes effect. The draft is open to public opinion until Wednesday.

A similar regulation took effect on Jan 1 in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, to guarantee equal opportunity in the workplace.

Employers should not set gender restrictions in hiring workers, and they should not refuse to hire people or raise the threshold of employment because of candidates' gender, marital status or pregnancy, under the regulation.

Huang Yizhi of Beijing Ruifeng Law Firm said labor laws have made gender discrimination in employment illegal but they lack language on fines for violations.

"Laws also ensure labor authorities' rights to supervise law enforcement, but such supervision has been inefficient," she said.

Huang said labor authorities' efforts to design codes to fine violators could serve as a deterrent to employers and also help encourage victims to seek protection of their rights.

"The key is labor authorities' full implementation of those regulations," she added.

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