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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Shanghai women overall lag men in education, but not among young

By Zhao Wen (Shanghai Daily)

09:04, January 06, 2012

Despite a narrowing gap in the past decade, Shanghai women still lag their male peers in education levels due to history and the increasing number of migrant women in the city.

But for the young generation, women have surpassed men - a trend that is accelerating.

Overall, local women have received an average 10.9 years of education while the number for men is 11.56 years, according to a report released yesterday by the Shanghai Women's Federation. The survey, based on a probe into Shanghai women's social status, ran for a year and ended on December 1, 2011. It involved 3,090 male and female participants over 18 years old.

Zhang Lili, president of the federation, said surveyors went door to door to interview local households, including permanent residents and migrant families in the city.

Lu Jianjun, a federation official, said the education gap can be attributed to historic problems as many women were deprived of schooling due to gender bias before 1949.

"In those days, boys were sent to school while girls were sent to work or help with family chores," said Lu. "In some rural areas, girls even began to help their parents in farming or fisheries without finishing primary school."

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